African American Teen Spanked On Viral Video Found Dead. What Is Going On?!

VIDEO: A teenager who was a fleeting sensation on YouTube earlier this year after he was videotaped being spanked by his uncle for boasting about gang ties on his Facebook page was found shot to death last week, just steps away from his Terrytown neighborhood home.

According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said Michael Taylor, 16, was found shot to death shortly after 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 7 when deputies responded to a report of gunshots in the area.

Taylor had been shot multiple times.

Sgt. Larry Dyess, JPSO spokesman, told the Times-Picayune that authorities had no suspect or motive in the incident.

Taylor’s mother, Kimberly Ward, told the newspaper that she kept strict tabs on her son, even making him stay on the sidewalk in eyesight of their home when he went outside. The night of the shooting, she said, Taylor received a text message from a friend at about 8 p.m. and went outside to chat.

“She said she called him back inside a few minutes later to find out what was going on, and he told her he was just talking and went back outside. A few minutes later, her daughter received a text message saying that Taylor had been shot, and then another saying he was dead,” the newspaper reported.

“Ward said she rushed from the house, driving around the neighborhood looking for her son, but didn’t find him until she was coming back to her apartment complex. That’s when she saw his body on the cold sidewalk, clad in the red sweatshirt she’d noticed when he left the house.

“I came home and saw my son on the ground,” Ward said.

In addition to his mother and sister, Taylor is survived by a brother, grandparents and a host of relatives and friends. His funeral is scheduled for this morning.

In the YouTube video, posted in January, Taylor’s uncle ordered him to disavow any ties to gangs, announced that the family “don’t come from that sh–,” and then proceeded to take off his belt and spank Taylor in full view of the laptop camera.

Rappers Lil Wayne and Birdman spoofed the video, as did another video site called StuntKidzTV.

The original video sparked tons of reaction, from people who applauded the uncle’s actions, calling it an overdue return to old-school parenting and discipline, to those who speculated the public flogging might drive the teenager deeper into a gang’s circle because the youth had been humiliated.

“I am not surprised to hear that this young man’s life has ended violently. When I saw the video, I kept thinking that by beating this youth, the uncle was setting him up for some kind of tragedy, either prison or an early grave,” said Stacey Patton, who in April launched the web site to offer black parents alternatives to corporal punishment and the tools to help foster the healthy development of children.

“I don’t understand why more people don’t make the connection between how children are dealt with at home and the larger societal impact,” Patton said. “Studies show that maltreated youth make up a disproportionate number of youth involved in school and gang violence. Violent parental discipline increases the risk that a child will act violently later in life. The use of violent discipline teaches children that violence is an appropriate means of shaping behavior and solving problems. Physically disciplining a child has no positive impact for the child, that child’s relationship with the parents, or the larger community.”

Ward told the Times-Picayune that her son was mild-mannered, but had begun hanging out with tough guys, telling her that he did it for protection …..

BLAM Fam: Weigh in on this. Do you think that violence begets more violence in some shape, form, or fashion even when the act (i.e., spanking) comes from a seemingly well intended place? One of the persons interviewed in this article said “”I am not surprised to hear that this young man’s life has ended violently.” I don’t understand why more people don’t make the connection between how children are dealt with at home and the larger societal impact”. What do you think?

Read the full article HERE.

10 replies
  1. tataheca
    tataheca says:

    pretty good…fuckin' nice

  2. MacCurtis Brown
    MacCurtis Brown says:

    Spare the rod and spoil the child. Maybe the uncle should have spanked the boy a long time ago. Maybe the nephew would still be alive today.

    • Karabellac
      Karabellac says:

      I agree. I remember seeing that video way back and wishing I could give the uncle a high five. That's the kind of discipline that many people used to hand out back in the day. Now you can't even spank your kid without somebody calling CPS on you. And would you look at that, kids are more messed up (disrespectful, lazy, mean) now then they ever were. I still give props to the uncle, and my condolences go out to him and the rest of the family.

  3. Jakki
    Jakki says:

    My Prayers go out to this young man's spirit and his family. I think Black people spank their children because it's what we've been taught to do. Many people say, "my parents beat me and I turned out alright." I use to be one of those people, I started off spanking my son,I was taught that is how you discipline a child. I believe the uncle meant well, and it was the only thing he knew to do, probably because someone did it to him.

    I stopped spanking my son because it hurt my feelings every time I hit him, I'd look at the pain in his face and I would instantly remember what it felt like for me when I was spanked; although I can say I was a good girl who got very few spankings, I hated the few I received. I saw my sisters get it though, and I hated it for them. I noticed that my son responded better when we sat down and talked things out, and he felt free to express his feelings without the repercussions of a beat down. Besides my son has a really gentle spirit, similar to the young man on that video, you could tell his soul was gentle. I did not want to kill the kindness that exuded from his soul, by way of beating him down every time he did something wrong. I stopped, I am so glad that I did, I believe my son is a better person today because of it.

    I could see the argument that children should be spanked if the result of spanking showed an overwhelming success rate, with the majority our communities producing healthy, educated, viable, self confident individuals(I'm not saying that these type of individuals don't exist in our communities because of course they do). Our communities are in trouble and no amount of spanking is going to change that; I see children getting spanked all the time, & cursed out. Black People are still spanking their children, you don't have to reach back to old school ways because they are still here, and it is not working. You don't have to spank your child in order for him/her to honor and respect thy mother and father.

    Our communities are broken; our children are wounded, our men are in despair our women are tired, frustrated and lonely, but pulling a rabbit out of her hat in many cases and making it work. Our Black men are missing in action in our communities & our children suffer tremendously because of it. We ask so much of our children, and many cases we are showing them dysfunction, but we expect for them to be miraculously brilliant; really? My opinion is we need to rethink how we operate in our families, and ask ourselves am I asking my children to be somebody I'm not? Do I lead by example, and do I make it easy for my child to ask me anything on this earth, or is he/she afraid to ask me a question, and if they do ask me a question can I answer without ridicule and judgment? Our babies need us to genuinely and honestly talk to them and listen to what they have to say and how they feel about their lives and the people in them. It is actually less stressful, at least it was for me.

    • Aiyana
      Aiyana says:

      Jakki, you bring up so many good points!

  4. @rockwyld
    @rockwyld says:

    This is unfortunate, but the Bible is still true.
    Dueteronomy 5:16 Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
    This is a tragic ending to a young man's life.
    God bless his family and keep them strong.
    Lord Jesus continue to bless & keep everyone reading this and their loved ones.

  5. TinaC
    TinaC says:

    When I think of spankings which often isn't affective I always think about how Master beat my ancestors and my <3 goes out to anybody who sticks around for such awful, degrading punishment! I think there are other ways you can most certainly get the point across because the person who is taking them may not take them as care, or concern nor love they could easily turn bitter before they get better! I think a prime example of how ineffective abuse is, are the thousands of ppl who stay in abusive relationships and continue to consider it love! I think we all know that LOVE DOESN'T HURT!

  6. ~ MrsPrice
    ~ MrsPrice says:

    What if his life did not end in this tragic manner but eventually became a very successful citizen, would there still be strong feelings against spanking?? I applaud the uncle for his efforts! We all have to do better, those who choose to spank as well as those who choose not to, we are loosing our youth and pointing fingers does not lead to productive actions.

  7. Kym
    Kym says:

    This is so sad. I was one of those people who applauded the uncle when I first saw this video.

  8. saj
    saj says:

    Have you ever heard the phrase.. don’t throw the baby out with the bath water? Well we should continue to stamp out and stand against abuse. But disciplining a child is different. Appropriate force that doesn’t leave a mark will enforce the message and respect due to parents. It will not teach children violence is a solution, because it is a unique social interaction that is restricted to childhood between a parent and a child. This context will never come up again in their lives. It’s interesting that most of these parents against smacking probably give their child access to violent video games and tv and rap music without second thought. We don’t expect that kind of learnt behaviour to translate because we expect the children to note the context surrounding that behaviour. Of course, they will hate it, I did. I went through a rebellious stage and no amount of talking set me straight. I had a fast mouth and I deserved every slap I got. But don’t worry about me I was spoiled rotten as a kid and now I’m in my 4th year of medical school to graduate as a Dr in 2013. all 3 of my siblings are fine and we laugh about it now. Parents need to stop buying into POP psychology and stick with what they know to work. Treat children as children, not adults. Love them with all your being and discipline accordingly. I’m not ashamed of my west Indian culture, some things I take some I drop. But I will continue to support smacking. Very sorry to hear about this young man. The family was doing their best my condolences go out to them.

Comments are closed.