NEW YORK, United States (CMC) – In the wake of the death of a four-year-old boy allegedly killed by a Jamaican-born transvestite, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has unveiled plans to reform the system for protecting vulnerable children.
“We can’t look at a situation like this and say business as usual is acceptable,” the mayor told a news conference at City Hall in lower Manhattan on Friday.
“We lost a child in such a horrible manner,” he said. “Every parent in this city feels as I do. It is very, very painful to know that this child went through such agony, that a child was lost that we believe there was more than one opportunity to save,” he added.
Prosecutors have charged Kryzie King, 27, born in Jamaica as Christopher King, with first-degree assault, reckless endangerment and unlawful imprisonment in the death of Myls Dobson, who was found dead two weeks ago in the bathroom of an apartment on Manhattan’s West Side.
King is being held at Rikers Island jail in Queens.
Prosecutors said Myls’ father, Okee Wade, 37, had left him with King in mid-December just before the police arrested him on charges in connection with a fraud in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He was in a New Jersey jail when his son died.
De Blasio proposed, among other things, changing state law to give social workers access to arrest records and to require Family Court judges to hold hearings when periods of supervision end, to make sure children were well cared for.
In addition, the mayor urged the Family Court system to notify the State Parole Board and the city’s Probation Department when a parent on parole or probation is awarded custody of a child.
De Blasio also wants correction officers to routinely ask new prisoners what arrangements they have made for child care.
The mayor said he would establish a Children’s cabinet, with representatives from the Police Department, the health department, the Administration for Children’s Services and other agencies to enhance communication among agencies on child abuse cases.
“The issue here is how to improve our practice,” he said. “We have to try to learn and do better.”
Late Thursday, a judge in New Jersey temporarily freed Wade so he can attend his son’s funeral on Tuesday.
Police said Wade was arrested in Brooklyn, New York, on December 19 on an outstanding bench warrant stemming from a fraud case in New Jersey.
Court records show Myls was bound, gagged, beaten, and burned during the three weeks spent with King.