Ohio police publish photo of 4-year-old in back of car with adults overdosed and out cold in the front

Ohio police publish photo of 4-year-old in back of car with adults overdosed and out cold in the front

Talk about bad parenting. A four-year-old boy was found in the backseat of a car while a woman and a male driver were unconscious in the front seat.

It turns out they both were overdosed on heroin. The relationship of the man to the woman and child was not immediately known. But the woman was later confirmed to be the child’s grandmother who had been granted custody just six weeks before. The East Liverpool, Ohio, police department showed their extremely dim view of the situation in a unique way. The cops took a picture of the little boy alone in the back with the passed-out adults in the front and posted it on Facebook.

East Liverpool is a small city in a corner of Ohio bordering Pennsylvania and West Virginia. In no time at all, the picture had gone viral across the internet, with close to 2000 comments on the Facebook posting in less than a day, and tens of thousands on other sites. Public reaction to the cops’ decision to publish the picture was largely positive. But some people criticized the department for showing the child’s face, saying it was “exploiting an innocent victim.”

Some publications that reprinted the picture blurred the child’s face, as we have done here. The police department defended their actions, however. “The poison known as heroin has taken a strong grip on many communities, not just ours,” the department said. “The difference is we are willing to fight this problem until it’s gone, and if that means we offend a few people along the way we are prepared to deal with that.”

A police spokesman added that officers began following the car after they noticed it being driven erratically. The male driver was conscious enough to drive at that point, but driving very badly indeed. When a school bus stopped in front of the car, the man skidded to a stop, almost colliding with the school bus. That’s when the cops stopped the car and approached the driver. The officers noticed that the woman appeared to be unconscious, and the driver said he was trying to get her to the hospital.

At that point, the driver just fell unconscious right in front of the policeman. Suspecting opioid overdose, EMT personnel injected both adults with the overdose antidote Narcan. They required several doses before they regained consciousness and were transported to a local hospital for observation and additional treatment. The 4-year-old boy was taken into protective custody by child services. Both the adults were charged with endangering a child’s safety. The state of Ohio has been hard hit by the opioid epidemic that is ravaging America. According to recent statistics over 3,000 people died in Ohio last year of unintentional drug overdoses – a 20% increase over the previous year.

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