Mayor de Blasio: Death of Boy, 6, ‘Should Not Have Happened’

What to Know

  • Zymere died Sept. 26 after what prosecutors say was months of abuse by his mother and her boyfriend
  • City officials have acknowledged that the mother, Geraldine Perkins, was investigated five times for abuse allegations
  • Mayor de Blasio said Wednesday that Zymere Perkins' death was "an unacceptable tragedy" and added that "the buck stops here"

Mayor de Blasio said the death of a 6-year-old boy whose family had been investigated for child abuse "should not have happened."

De Blasio said Wednesday that Zymere Perkins' death was "an unacceptable tragedy" and added that "the buck stops here."

Zymere died Sept. 26 after what prosecutors say was months of abuse by his mother and her boyfriend. Both have been arrested on charges of endangering the welfare of a child. Their attorneys did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

City officials have acknowledged that the mother, Geraldine Perkins, was investigated five times for abuse allegations.

The mayor and other officials spoke the day after Gladys Carrion, the commissioner of children's services, admitted in a tearful interview with the I-Team that "we can't keep every child safe."

Carrion said in the interview Tuesday that "just one fatality is one too many" but declined to discuss any details about the boy's case. She said that it was too early to characterize whether her agency dropped the ball and added that the staff who handled Perkins' case were in bad shape.

Five ACS employees were placed on modified duty after Perkins' death, and Carrion didn't rule out the possibility she could be fired.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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