MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The Tennessee Department of Children's Services is investigating an incident that was captured on camera by a neighbor who calls it child abuse.
The neighbor, who asked not to be identified, recorded video as a mother hit her 8-year-old daughter with a belt while, at the same time, forcing her to run sprints. The man and his wife said they saw her throw up from exhaustion before they finally stepped in to stop it from happening. They eventually ended up calling 911.
In the video, you can see the girl running down the sidewalk. When she stops, her mother kicks off her shoes and chases after her with a belt. She forces the girl to keep running as she chases her with the belt, yelling, "Run away from it, run away from it." The man then steps up and said, "I've had enough of this child abuse."
The mother told the man, "Look, I am not being mean to her. I am trying to come up with a solution, because she's been in the principal's office every day because she won't do her work."
"But when she can't run anymore and to beat her with a strap and try to make her go beyond her limits, that's unconscionable," one of the neighbors said. "I definitely encourage more people to be vocal. We have to protect our children."
Department of Children's Services said spanking turns to abuse when the punishment goes "beyond temporary redness or in excess of age-appropriate corporal punishment (e.g. a bruise, broken bone, cut, burn.)"
Police officers who responded said there were no visible signs of injury on Tuesday night.
WMC Action News 5's Jessica Holley tried to reach the woman in the video. She did not respond to her requests for comment.