Flag raising ceremony set for murdered 3-year-old - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Flag raising ceremony set for murdered 3-year-old

(Source: Family) (Source: Family)

A toddler beaten to death by his father will have a flag raised in his honor at the Memphis Child Advocacy Center.

The center raises flags for every child killed as a result of abuse or neglect in Memphis.

3-year-old Josiah Patterson will be honored at the third flag raising in the past 4 months.

Jermyle Campbell and Deandre Davis are the two other children taken too early by violence from the people entrusted to keep them safe.

Josiah's flag will fly all week as a reminder of his tragic story and a challenge to anyone who sees it to make sure they are doing everything possible to keep innocent children safe from abuse and neglect.

"My nephew is gone. For them to raise that flag that stands so high, that's my nephew," said Josiah's aunt.

Josiah's father, Terry Patterson, is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday on charges of first-degree murder.

"I don't feel like a father that has a background like he had should ever have seen Jojo ever," Josiah's aunt said.

Patterson is a convicted felon and his criminal history spans decades. He received joint custody of Josiah just before police said he beat and killed the boy.

The court was not required to run a background check before granting custody. Now, one Memphis lawmaker is drafting legislation to make sure it does not happen again.

"Before there's a custody determination finalized that juvenile court will talk to DCS," said state representative G.A. Hardaway. 

Hardaway plans to introduce a bill requiring background checks before custody decisions.

"This new law will mandate that juvenile court will check that database before they made a determination," he said.

The added background check proposed in Josiah's memory hopes to save children from similar situations in the future.

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