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Man kills daughter over videogame


Bruce B
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The mainstream media just loves connecting the dots between crime and video games, but oftentimes those connections are tenuous at best. In the case of Alayiah Turman, however, it's sadly very clear that video games did, in fact, play a key role in her death.

 

Huh? Video games played a role in her death? No, a fucked up father incapable of a normal emotional response killed her. His outburst could have occured just as easily if the daughter spilled a drink or unplugged the TV.

 

The author criticizes the "mainstream" media for seeking weak connections between violence and video games yet he makes a pretty tenuous leap himself.

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His outburst could have occured just as easily if the daughter spilled a drink or unplugged the TV.

Exactly. The videogame connection is, in fact, tenous at best and ridiculous at worst. You could replace that Xbox with the fathers favorite DVD player and that child would still have been murdered.

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Apparently an anonymous caller had already tipped off the Department of Human Services that something was awry in that household, but routine investigations failed to turn up anything to warrant intercession by authorities.

 

How does this happen? Is the system so broken that nobody noticed the child's father had an insanely violent temper? How did nobody, and I don't just mean authorities, but family members as well, see this coming?

 

My sympathies are of course with the family...as a parent of very young children these kinds of stories are almost too painful to read sometimes. But I am also pretty sick and damn tired of people (and media) blaming "the system" for these kinds of tragedies, too. How did nobody notice (meaning, presumably, DHS) that the father had an insanely violent temper? Maybe because even people with violent tempers are capable of controlling them for the duration of an hour-long investigation? If child services does an investigation and doesn't find anything to substantiate abuse or neglect, there is nothing they can do. In order to remove a child from a home, they need to get an Order of Temporary Custody from a judge, and judges don't hand those out because the social worker has a "bad feeling". You need evidence. And, frankly, that's the way it should be. I for one would not want a child services department with the power to take kids from families on a whim.

 

It's a terrible story, but the blame lies squarely on two people: the monster who did this to the child, and the idiot who left her child in his care. Not "the system". At least, not with the facts presented in that article.

 

[edit] Rereading the quote, at least the author includes "family members" in his list of culpable agents. I missed that the first time through.

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This is f'd up beyond words, but I agree that there was likley nothing child services could do. If a child has been to the hospital with bruises, breaks, or unusual burns/cuts, that's evidence they can use. If there are multiple police report of violence, abuse, or drunken threats, that's evidence. If there was non of that to sustain the "tip" they received, they could (and should) not have done anything.

 

They do their job the best way they can. When my 2 yr old broke his leg (messing around in little gym class) you should have seen the 3rd degree the hospital gave me over how it happened. I wasn't even there, I was at work! But they take child abuse seriously and will dilligintly follow any leads they get. But no evidence = nothing they can do.

 

It's like racking up welfare because of one person who is defruading the system for free money. Over the aggregate, over the long term, and for most everyone it is a good thing and should be in place. Social services is great, if anything they are just WAY too underfunded to be really effective.

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