Shocking footage has emerged showing a young girl struggling to prop up her semi-conscious mother on a Philadelphia public bus. Courtesy People of Septa/Facebook
A HEARTBREAKING video showing Philadelphia bus passengers ignore a young girl forced to care for her semi-conscious mother has sparked an official police investigation.
The four-and-a-half-minute video was posted to Facebook last Thursday on the People of Septa page, a site set up to mock people who travel on SEPTA buses in Northeast Philadelphia.
The clip has been shared more than 73,000 times on Facebook and has since prompted the Philadelphia Police Department’s Special Victims Unit and the Department of Human Services to launch investigations, reports Philly.com.
The little girl is seen trying to prop up her mother, who slumps in her bus seat as she nearly passes out. Local news stations have reported that she was on heroin, however police have not confirmed whether she was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
The girl, who is believed to be between seven and nine years old, calls out “Mama, mama,” in an attempt to wake her mother.
“Mum, no one can get through with the bags,” she later says, while trying to move her mother’s shopping bags out of the aisle.
Facebook users have expressed their sadness at the shocking video.
“Heartbreaking 🙁 I hope she gets help and turns her life around for that beautiful little girl,” wrote one user.
“Its [sic] very hard to watch this. My heart goes out to that little girl. She deserves better,” wrote another.
Police have expressed their disappointment at the other passengers on the bus for ignoring what was obviously a serious incident.
“While it is helpful that so many people emailed and called us after viewing the video, there were many people on the bus who witnessed this as it was occurring and took no action at all,” DHS Commissioner Anne Marie Ambrose said.
“Child abuse is a community problem, if you see or know that a child is being abused or neglected, you should report it immediately.”
Philadelphia Police Lieutenant John Stanford agreed.
“We don’t want people to engage because you don’t know what’s going on here,” Stanford said. “But we’d prefer you to call 911 or stop the operator of the vehicle.”
It is believed the woman has lost custody of her daughter and has been questioned by police, although no charges have officially been made.