In Columbus, Ohio, the Chief of Police has issued an apology to a father who shared a video revealing a concerning interaction with two officers. The incident has prompted an internal investigation within the police department.
The father called the police to report that his 11-year-old daughter had been manipulated into sending explicit images to an adult man.
In the video he shared, one of the officers suggested that the young girl could be charged and penalized for creating "child pornography."
Chief Elaine R. Bryant released a statement on Tuesday evening, acknowledging the need to investigate the conduct of the Columbus Division of Police officers involved in the incident.
She emphasized her expectation that officers treat every crime victim with compassion and respect, saying:
"What I saw in that video did not reflect that."
The case has been referred to the department's Inspector General for a thorough review.
Chief Bryant clarified that the incident should not be seen as representative of the entire division, commending the department's usual commitment to providing comfort and justice to victims.
Upon learning of the incident, the police department promptly reached out to the father to offer apologies and assure him of a comprehensive investigation into both the officer's actions and any potential crimes against his child.
The father, who has not been named by Insider to protect his daughter's identity, originally shared the video on Facebook and later on TikTok.
The video quickly gained traction, amassing over 700,000 views on TikTok, with even larger accounts re-sharing it, ultimately reaching millions.
In his TikTok caption, the father described his daughter as "a victim" of an "online predator" who happened to be an adult man. He explained that the predator had manipulated his daughter into sending explicit pictures of herself.
The video footage captures a brief conversation between the father and one of the responding officers, during which the officer appeared dismissive of the father's concerns and quickly raised the issue of potential charges against the minor.
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The officer informed the father:
"I mean, she can probably get charged with child porn."
The father incredulously pointed out she was 11 years old.
The female officer insisted:
"Doesn't matter. She's still making porn."
Social justice warrior and content creator @TizzyEnt posted his outrage:
A father asked Columbus police for help and they blamed his 11 year old daughter.
As @TizzyEnt explained, advocates argue against the use of the term "child porn," instead favoring the term "child sexual abuse material" (CSAM) to avoid creating an inaccurate association with consensual adult pornography.
The internet was understandably furious.
Following the video's circulation on the internet, the Columbus Division of Police released a statement outlining the Inspector General's investigation.
Chief Bryant issued her more assertive statement afterward. As of now, the department has not disclosed the names of the officers involved in the video.
Chief Bryant concluded her statement by reiterating her commitment to supporting officers who do the right thing while holding them accountable when they do not, a principle she has upheld since her first day in office.