Xiah Greene’s offense, like many of the others’, was that he cried. His mom left the house and, being the seven-month-old that he was, little Xiah shed some tears.
It was a natural and common-enough transgression, but something in Xiah’s father, Larry Greene, snapped. One punch to the toddler’s chest was allegedly enough to end Xiah’s life – making him the ninth child in five months to have been killed or severely injured by a caregiver.
Upon announcing the April 13 incident and the subsequent arraignment of 20-year-old Greene, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said, “The fragility of a small child cannot be emphasized enough. There is no excuse for these senseless attacks. The defendants in these cases must be severely punished.”
Sadly and ironically, Brown noted, the assault occurred in the midst of National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Green faces 25 years to life in prison for second-degree murder, joining eight others who, since November, have injured or killed infants as young as 13 weeks old. The injuries have been consisting with shaking, blunt impact, pushing off of beds and even biting.
In an interview with The New York Daily News, Marjory Fisher, the chief of the Queens D.A.’s Special Victims Bureau, underscored the unprecedented nature of the recent spate of attacks.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many severe child abuse cases in a span of five or six weeks,” said Fisher, who was not available to speak with The Queens Courier. “People are making bad decisions or hiring the wrong people to watch their children.”
NYC Administration for Children’s Services commissioner John Mattingly said the agency urges “every parent, relative, community member and neighbor who is related to or close to families with young children to be extremely careful about who you leave your children with.”
Mattingly noted that an individual with a history of anger or impatience brought on by a child’s tantrum or tears, or someone who scares the child should not serve as a caregiver.
For more information and assistance, the ACS urges parents to call the Parent Helpline at 1-800-342-7472 or seek online support at preventchildabusenv.org. Additionally, the Family Crisis Center and Nursery, reachable at 1-888-435-7555, is a resource for help and emergency child care, providing a temporary safe haven for children from birth to age 10.