Mother arrested after video of smoking baby goes viral




A video of an infant smoking a small cigar set off outrage on social media that helped North Carolina authorities identify and arrest the mother.

A version of the video that’s received 1.5 million views was posted by a user who urged the mother’s arrest.

The 10-second clip shows the hand of an adult off-screen holding what appears to be a cigarillo to the child’s lips. The child then makes a cooing sound and appears to inhale before letting out a puff of smoke.

The Raleigh Police department officials told their Facebook followers in a post, “Big thanks to everyone who posted information about the smoking mother and baby. Thanks to your willingness to get involved, the child is now safe and the mother is in police custody.”

Raleigh residents and others began posting the video and comments on the Department’s Facebook page just after 9:30 a.m. today. “We appreciate the public’s help in this matter,” said RPD Lieutenant Jason Hodge. “We welcome and encourage any assistance the public is willing to give us at all times.”

It wasn’t immediately clear what substance the child was smoking, but the mother was charged with marijuana possession. Brianna Ashanti Lofton, 20, was also charged with two counts of felony child abuse, according to a police news release.

The baby was placed with the county’s child protective services department. A phone listing for Lofton couldn’t be found through a public records search.