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Mom takes videos of child beating sibling with belt, Florida cops say. ‘Hit hard, baby’

A Florida mom is accused of instructing one of her children to beat the other with a belt while she recorded a video, among other abuses, a sheriff’s office said.

Deputies and an investigator from the Department of Child and Families went to the mother’s Seffner apartment on Feb. 20 to perform a welfare check, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said in a Feb. 22 news release. The sheriff’s office did not release what prompted the call.

The mom, 28, lived with her two children, one whose age was not released and one under the age of 5, deputies said.

McClatchy News is not identifying the mother to protect the identity of her children.

One of the children, younger than 5 years old, showed “signs of distress, shaking and crying,” the sheriff’s office said.

They had a 2-inch long bruise on their cheek under a recent haircut, the deputies said, and an investigator asked the child how they got the bruise.

“Maybe my mom. Maybe she was slapping me around. She doesn’t remember. Mommy tells her she doesn’t remember things,” the child told investigators.

The mom said she had slapped the child a minimum of three times, deputies said.

Investigators looked on the mother’s phone and found videos of the children being abused, according to the sheriff’s office.

In one video, the mom tells one of her kids to hit the other with a belt, deputies said. As she records the children, she laughs and says, “Hit harder. Hit hard, baby. Beat the (expletive) out of the sly devil,” according to the sheriff’s office.

In another video, the mother tells one of her kids they will be tortured, and “if they die, then so be it,” the sheriff’s office said.

The mother was charged with child abuse and taken into custody, according to the sheriff’s office, and the children are being cared for by relative.

“It is absolutely gut-wrenching and incomprehensible to have a case like this, where a mother would inflict such horrifying treatment on her own children,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said in the release. “My heart aches for these two young and innocent children. As your Sheriff, I promise you that our team will not rest until we ensure that all the children in our community are safe.”

An investigation is ongoing.

Seffner is about 15 miles east of Tampa.

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