The shocking photos of the incident were posted by the East Liverpool Police Department Thursday. The young child’s face was not blurred or otherwise obscured.
The department acknowledged the offensive nature of the post, but stated that it was important to share, as a means to encourage drug users to think twice about their actions.
“We feel it necessary to show the other side of this horrible drug. We feel we need to be a voice for the children caught up in this horrible mess. This child can't speak for himself but we are hopeful his story can convince another user to think twice about injecting this poison while having a child in their custody,” the Facebook post stated.
They also hoped that the “non drug using public” would see the photos and see what the police “are dealing with on a daily basis.”
The incident took place Wednesday, after a police officer spotted a vehicle driving erratically. The cop watched as the car slammed on its brakes while approaching a stopped school bus dropping children off.
As the bus pulled away, the vehicle, driven by James Lee Acord, remained in the roadway and began to coast at an angle before coming to a stop.
When the officer approached the vehicle, Acord’s head was bobbing back and forth and his speech was unintelligible, but he was able to communicate that he was taking his passenger, Rhonda Pasek, to the emergency room. He then began to attempt to drive away, but the officer quickly reached in, turned the vehicle off and removed the keys. The officer then noticed a small child in the back seat, later identified as Pasek’s son. Acord then passed out as well.
Pasek is charged with endangering children, public intoxication, and not wearing a seat belt. Acord is charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, endangering children, and slowing or stopping in a roadway.
The post has garnered a mixture of reactions, with many expressing outrage over the shaming of the child.
“Educate the child in the backseat, who is more likely to be an addict like his parents,” a user commented, identifying themselves as a heroin addict that has been clean for three and a half years.
“Don't embarrass and shame them. How is that helping?”