In May 2013, 8-year old Gabriel Fernandez was beaten to death by his mother and her boyfriend. California social workers were made aware of the abuses Gabriel had endured yet they ignored repeated requests for help. In addition to multiple beatings and being shot in the face with a bb gun, the first grader reportedly once wrote a suicide note.
In 2013, I interviewed Gabriel’s 1st grade teacher, Jennifer Garcia, who was one of the few people who actively tried to save him. PolitiChicks republishes her interview each year, or when we see Gabriel’s name in the news.
This week, on April 7, 2016, LA Times reported:
Four Los Angeles County social workers have been charged with felony child abuse and falsifying public records in connection with the 2013 death of 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez, who was tortured and killed even though authorities had numerous warnings of abuse in his home.
Los Angeles County prosecutors allege that the county Department of Children and Family Services employees minimized “the significance of the physical, mental and emotional injuries that Gabriel suffered … [and] allowed a vulnerable boy to remain at home and continue to be abused.”
One of the nationwide problems with Child Protective Services is they sometimes take children from good homes while leaving others in the pits of hell. Are things getting better? Perhaps not. On Thursday, May 21, 2015, KTLA reported that Sacramento lawmakers are trying to keep child death records secret from the public.
Please watch and share this interview to understand why all of us at PolitiChicks will never forget Gabriel Fernandez and how case workers in Child Protective Services allowed him to fall through the cracks.
This is Gabriel’s story.