A Baltimore mother appears to have snapped at the thought of losing her baby to child services permanently when she made a visit to the city’s Department of Social Services last week.
According to police, while 29-year-old Kenisha Thomas was spending time with her daughter, Pretty Diamond, during a supervised visit, she became angry and pulled out a kitchen knife and stabbed the baby five times in the neck and upper body. A social worker who was in the room with her told police that Thomas complained about the girl’s care and said she could do a better job. When the social worker reminded Thomas that her time was almost up, the mother said, “It’s about to be over,” then pulled out the knife and stabbed the 8-month-old girl.
A few people are said to have rushed into the visitation room. According to police documents, one co-worker attempted to distract Thomas by throwing a chair at her. That same man was bitten in the hand while he tried to restrain her. A third co-worker reportedly found the baby on the floor with the knife in her neck and took her to another room. Several witnesses said they heard Thomas say she was going to kill the baby and that if she couldn’t have her, no one could.
The infant was taken to Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, where she is in stable condition in the pediatric intensive care unit, and Thomas has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, child abuse, and assault.
While many are questioning how this woman was able to bring a knife on the premises in the first place, Human Resources Secretary Ted Dallas insists all safety protocols were followed on the day of the stabbing.
“The suspect in this case, she did go through the metal detector. Her bag was searched. We believe the knife was hidden in the bag… possibly in the lining of the bag,” he said.
Regardless, that knife should have been seen and Patrick Moran, director of AFSCME Maryland, the union that includes Social Services workers who were present at the time of the incident, said state cuts to public services have led to inadequate security at that particular office and many others.
“It’s been this diet of cuts over the past 10 years that is cutting the level of people doing the amount of work that needs to get done. When you do that, there’s going to be lapses in things like security, oversight, etc.,” he told 11 News.
Dallas did announce new security measures that will be implemented to prevent an incident like this from happening again.
“We’re installing lockers inside the facility,” he said. “Those lockers will be where you check your bag before you go through the metal detector and before you go anywhere near the back of the office where you will have a supervised visit.”
Meanwhile, Thomas is undergoing psychiatric evaluation to see what caused her violent outrage.
Do you think security is partially responsible for this incident?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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