A 20-year-old woman is now in custody following the release of a viral video that purportedly showed an infant smoking marijuana.
The 10-second clip, which was seen by more than a million users on Facebook (and has since been deleted), shows an adult raising a cigarillo to a baby’s lips. The child then coos and inhales before puffing out smoke.
Raleigh resident Brianna Ashanti Lofton now faces a myriad of charges, according to FOX 5 News, including two counts of felony child abuse, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and marijuana possession.
According to the arrest warrant, the child was indeed smoking marijuana.
Members of the Raleigh Police Department said Wednesday that the child was safe.
“Big thanks to everyone who posted information about the smoking mother and baby,” department officials told their Facebook followers in a post. “Thanks to your willingness to get involved, the child is now safe and the mother is in police custody.”
Raleigh residents began sharing the video to the RPD’s official Facebook page around 9:30 Wednesday morning. It is unknown just when the video was taken, but some reports have marked it as being recorded back in December or early January.
Facebook user Rasheed Martin of Rochester, New York, originally shared the video in hopes of bringing the child’s parent to justice.
“Once more and more people found out about this situation, they showed me a screenshot of her actual Facebook page,” Martin said in an online interview. “Then I later added it to the post so everyone could know exactly who did that to the poor little girl.”
20-year-old Brianna Ashanti Lofton, accused of placing a marijuana joint to her infants’ mouth, meets with Wake Co. magistrates. pic.twitter.com/sDzDb59TlI
— Gary Cooper (@GaryCooperWTVD) March 21, 2018
The video was then widely shared in hopes of obtaining more information about the parent and the baby’s whereabouts. It is unknown how the video was traced back to Lofton.
The baby has since been placed with Wake County Child Protective Services. The child’s mother was taken into custody and is currently being held at the Wake County Detention Center.
“We appreciate the public’s help in this matter,” said RPD Lieutenant Jason Hodge in a statement. “We welcome and encourage any assistance the public is willing to give us at all times.”