A toddler in Nebraska that was the focus of a viral video, in which adults encourage the toddler to curse and flash gang signs, is now in protective custody.
The video, titled "The Thug Cycle," was published on the Omaha Police Officers Association's website after someone came across the video on Facebook.
Child Victim Unit police were able to identify the toddler and track down the two adults in the video's background. An investigation into the home determined no criminal activity had taken place in the video, however, the toddler and three other children were being kept in an unsafe environment.
The video has since sparked a debate over whether publicizing this kind of shocking and vulgar content is racist or valuable to breaking a cycle of inner-city violence.
Sgt. John Wells, Omaha Police Association president, stood by the department's decision to publicize the video after the department was being questioned regarding the publication of the video on the police department's website.
It highlights "a cycle of violence and thuggery, young children find themselves trapped in … this is what police officers are really dealing with in this city," Wells said in a statement.
"Obviously, we had no idea this video was going to take off," Wells added.
Still as various media outlets continue to cover the video and the family life of the toddler several rights groups as well as police Chief Todd Schmaderer have raised doubts over the decision to post the video.
"I want to make it explicit and clear that the views expressed on the OPOA Facebook page do not necessarily reflect the official stance of the Omaha Police Department. I strongly disagree with any postings that may cause a divide in our community or an obstacle to police community relations," Schmaderer said in a statement.
WARNING: Video contains graphic language