The family of a Harlem boy beaten to death last year after enduring months of abuse is suing Mayor Bill de Blasio, the city Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) and the Department of Education.
Zymere Perkins was pronounced dead Sept. 26 after his mother rushed him to Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital. On the day of Perkins’ death Rysheim Smith, his mother’s boyfriend, allegedly hit the boy with his hands and with a wooden broom stick, according to the Manhattan district attorney’s office. The mother, Geraldine Perkins, told police that Smith had hung the boy from thee back of their apartment’s bathroom door by his shirt and had seen his body “go limp. Smith became angry when Perkins defecated in the living room of Smith’s apartment on West 135th Street between Broadway and Riverside Drive, according to the DA’s office.
In December the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) filed a scathing report which found that on five separate occasions ACS did not conduct thorough investigations into the abuse of Perkins, did not follow regulatory standards and failed to intervene when it could have protected Perkins.
“There were five incidents that ACS could have investigated within a one year period. And if they would have just taken the due diligence on one of those incidents, this child would have been here. Breathing, playing, being with his family,” Perkins family attorney Abe George told NY1.
Screenshot of Oct. 5 press conference via mayor’s office