19 Action News steps in when kids placed in 'dangerous' home

19 Action News steps in when kids placed in 'dangerous' home
Briana Watkins (Source: Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office)
Briana Watkins (Source: Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office)

19 Action News has learned two young children were taken away from their mother for their own safety, but they were placed in a home later found by child welfare workers to be just as dangerous.

Cuyahoga County social workers did some investigating after we forwarded troubling pictures of young people holding guns.

It all started a week and a half ago. Cleveland Police arrested Briana Watkins for child endangering. Officers say they saw Watkins slam the head of her 3-year-old son onto a metal bench on Public Square.

So the county took away the toddler and an infant and placed them with a relative.

But after our story, someone sent us online pictures of people posing with guns. The tipster said those people have ties to that relative's home. So we forwarded the pictures to child welfare workers.

The county found the people in the pictures are, in fact, connected to that home. The agency took immediate action removing Watkins' children. They are now in a foster home.

The agency says it does background checks, but "as a matter of course, Facebook postings are not a routine part of our investigation. If postings are brought to our attention, or we have reason to believe something's out there, we'll look further."

Watkins remains in jail. The county had already had an open case to keep her under watch for her parenting.

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