A video of the mother repeatedly hitting her young six-year old child, D.Q., and her three-month old child, J.C., with a spatula and stick was turned over to the police.  In the video, mother was seen striking both children on parts of their bodies while dragging either D.Q. or J.C. across the floor.  The State had the video, but it was having trouble finding the source of the video. It wanted to have full information for the court hearing.  State filed a motion to continue the trial date due to the State’s not having information about the source of the video. The Judge denied the continuance request and the case went to hearing.

D.Q.’s father testified that he recognized the mother and his daughter, D.Q. in the video.  He testified that he became aware of the video when he received it on his cell phone from the mother’s mother. After viewing the video, he brought it to the police department. Father was not present when the video was made.  He did not know when it was taken or who recorded it. He testified that the video he received on his cell phone and the video he reviewed in court were “the same exact video.”

Mother refused to testify and took the fifth. Mother said that in the past, she had suffered from postpartum depression and “may have tapped D.Q. on the hand” when disciplining her, but nothing else.

A child protection investigator with DCFS testified that she had talked with D.Q.  The child had stated that mother had hit her in the very fashion that was shown on the video.

The State asked the Court to accept the video into evidence. Mother’s attorney objected that there were questions about the source of the video. The Court accepted the video as evidence against the Mother. The Mother appealed.

The Appellate Court sided against Mother. The Father of D.Q. had positively identified Mother and child in the video. So did other persons who saw the video. The camera used to record the video was clearly operational at the time.  The camera was able to record clearly so that the people in the video were identifiable, as were their actions. Our supreme court has found that such evidence is enough to adequately demonstrate that the camera was able to record and was generally operating properly.

The Court made the two young children wards of the Court.

In re D.Q., 2016 IL App (1st) 160680

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