Police in Memphis, Tennessee, are investigating the death of a 10-year-old boy who died after his mother was disciplining him.
The mother, Robin McKinzie, claimed that her son, Jaheim McKinzie, ran to the kitchen and stabbed himself with a knife after she had been whipping him with an extension cord and choking him as a form of punishment.
When authorities arrived, the child was bleeding from the chest, and he died less than an hour later at the hospital.
Neighbors were in disbelief when they heard what happened, and one friend claimed that McKinzie had become distant over the past year. “All I can say is that she was a good mother, and her son was her life,” said the woman. “Her son was her life.”
McKinzie is currently being held on an aggravated child abuse charge on $100,000 bond.
Although the matter is still being examined by police, if Jaheim did in fact kill himself, he would be part of a rising epidemic of suicide in young Black boys. The rates of suicide for young Black boys have jumped from 1.78 to 3.47 per 1 million, and a 2015 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the suicide rate for Black boys between the ages of 5 and 11 doubled between 1993 and 2012.
However, the police have not corroborated McKinzie’s story and are still investigating.