Social media can be helpful in recording wrongs, but a parking lot paddling this week doesn’t merit charges, say Pensacola police. A white woman with a Black child in a store parking lot went viral when another woman recorded her paddling the child. But as the child appeared uninjured and corporal punishment is legal in Florida, police say no charges will be filed.
A Pensacola woman grabbed her phone and pressed record when she noticed a woman using a “wooden paddle” to strike a child. The video was posted on both Instagram and Facebook. It has since gone viral with more than 70,000 viewers.
Shannon Holmes caught the incident on camera with her cell phone then took a picture of the unidentified woman’s license plate.
“In my head I’m just thinking, like, ‘this can’t be real.’ This is something you see on TV. This is not something that you necessarily see in person, let alone in daylight in a very public place,” said Holmes.
Holmes, a Pensacola mother, recorded the footage as the unidentified woman hit the child in the parking lot of a restaurant.
“You could see the fear in his eyes, like this isn’t his first time going through this. So, once he turned around again, she swapped him again. She hit him again, then she threw the board in her vehicle, and they went right back into the restaurant like nothing ever happened,” Holmes explained.
“My first instinct was to get out of the car, but I thought to myself, ‘if i get out of the car and interrupt, and she did this in public, he’s probably going to get it ten times worse when he gets home.”‘
The brief aftermath of the child falling down to the ground and crying had Holmes in disbelief.
She said there are ways to discipline children effectively that doesn’t involve a wooden paddle.
“I feel like by me videotaping and getting her tag, I could do something to possibly help that child, because he obviously doesn’t have a voice where he could speak for himself and tell what’s going on. I feel like I should be that child’s voice because that’s so not right,” said Holmes.
People on social media are questioning whether the woman’s use of ‘discipline’ was right or wrong. Channel 3 News alerted authorities. The Pensacola Police Department and DCF launched an investigation.
Was this an overreach on the part of the woman who recorded the video or is paddling a child always wrong?