‘He’s got all of us now,’ Community mourns infant stabbed to death as mother’s mental health still a question
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -She was asked to donate old baby clothes to help a new mother, and the next thing Charise Harper-Taylor knew, she was seeing that woman, Angelyc Seely, on the news.
“It was heartbreaking we’re just out here to heal as a community and give this baby as much love as we can,” said Harper-Taylor.
Despite the tragic details, Harper-Taylor believes this is a mother needing help.
“I don’t think that’s something any mother does if she’s well, I think she’s sick,” said Harper-Taylor.
In the arrest warrant, officers noted Seely had a cut on her neck and said she was supposed to go with her son quote, ‘but it went wrong, and she failed”.
It also goes onto say the three to six-month-old baby had been dead for several hours before he was found, and considering the extent of his injures, it appeared the baby was cleaned of blood.
A former administrator with the NOPD crisis intervention team, Cecile Tebo says, unfortunately, this sort of thing happens all too often.
“The officers are beautifully trained in de-escalation so yes the talk is there but more often than not the situation is so dire that the person ends up needing the safety of an emergency room, so even though our mission is to divert, we’re usually only successful about 18% of the time because of the acuity,” said Tebo.
Seely was seen asking for her son as she was taken for evaluation at University Medical Center, but soon after, she was released and arrested on murder charges. Tebo explained how a doctor makes that risk assessment.
“If the physician doesn’t feel they are risking themselves or others they will do a release… there is a mental health facility in the jail. If the person goes from the hospital into the jail, generally that person will go into the medical unit,” said Tebo.
Retired criminal court judge, Calvin Johnson says the details of this case alone tell him it’s a case centering around mental health, and the court will likely require a full mental evaluation.
“They’re going to as quickly as a possible move for that to be made… from my perspective this speaks of a person with a mental health issue,” said Johnson.
While Seely’s mental state is still a question, Harper-Taylor knows this mother is suffering too.
“As black women sometimes suffering from postpartum depression we don’t get help with the mental aspect of it, we just all kind of need someone and she didn’t have anyone he didn’t have anyone so now he’s got all of us now,” said Harper-Taylor.
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