It happened again: Cops say a drug-addicted mother already on the city’s radar murdered her 5-month-old baby.
On Tuesday, Joann McLeod allegedly threw her young son, Raymond Porfil Jr., against the wall, repeatedly — causing multiple skull fractures and brain swelling. She then delayed calling for help for more than an hour while the baby was unresponsive.
Such a sick, brutal attack on a helpless tot is hard to fathom. And the possibility that city officials might have prevented it compounds the pain.
The Administration for Children’s Services removed three of McCleod’s kids from her in 2010 because of her drug use and “medical neglect,” a source said.
And workers visited her home this May after a complaint. But they reportedly decided the baby and his 19-month-old sister weren’t in danger.
“Maybe if they had done something,” the baby’s father, Raymond Porfil Sr., fumed, “my son would still be alive.”
Trouble is, even the best child-protection workers can’t always predict the future. It’s clear now that they made the wrong call. But there’s too little evidence so far to conclude it was flawed at the time. After all, McLeod, a source noted, had no known history of physical abuse against any of her kids.
The workers’ decision, of course, needs to be investigated; it may well turn out they acted improperly. Sadly, ACS has a long history of leaving kids in dangerous situations resulting in their deaths.
Agency boss David Hansell was supposed to change the course of that history when he took over last year. One case alone, with so many facts still unknown, doesn’t mean he’s failed — but it’s certainly cause to worry.
We’ll be watching.
Source: Read Full Article