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For Nixzmary Brown


Every time I hear the name Nixzmary Brown, I am moved to tears by the suffering this little girl endured for years before finally being murdered by her mother and her mother’s husband. I am repeatedly and continually outraged by the utter failure of the New York City Administration for Children’s Services to protect this child from the evil forces around her.

This morning I was reduced to open sobbing while at the same time repulsed by a SEIU radio ad where the memory of Nixzmary Brown was evoked in a bid to keep their jobs. “We speak for Nixzmary Brown,” the ad intoned. It went on to described Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed cuts as gutting the agency tasked with protecting children.

I have never been so appalled by anything in my 52 years on this earth. The abuse of Nixzmary Brown was known to ACS and the agency failed at the most basic level of their responsibility to save the life of this child, even though it was completely within their power to do so. Twice they found no abuse where abuse was evident and obvious. Since it's clear that her final beating and torture was not an isolated incident, ACS left her directly in harm’s way with an indifferent mother and her abusive crazed husband to be repeatedly beaten and tortured. Then their union has the nerve, the audacity, THE UNMITTIGATED GAUL to use her memory to attempt to save their jobs – JOBS THAT THEY ABSOLUTELY FAILED TO DO IN THE CASE OF NIXZMARY BROWN AND COUNTLESS OTHER CHILDREN. Their excuse -- heavy caseloads. In other words, they’re too busy to do their jobs. This child suffered daily and ultimately lost her life because ACS was too busy to do their job.

Sadly, Nixzmary is not the only child abused to death while ACS watched. Nadine Lockwood (1997), Justina Morales (1995), Elisa Izquierdo (1995), List Steinberg (1987) to name just a few. The list goes on and on. ACS has a well documented history of letting children they are supposed to be monitoring die at the hands of abusers, some of whom are actually ACS approved foster parents.

In the case of Nixzmary Brown, not only did ACS fail to perform its most basic function of protecting the life of this child, its union is now using Nixzmary to salvage the jobs of its ineffective workers, extending the abuse Nixzmary Brown even after her death. HOW DARE THEY? HOW DARE THEY!!

With this level of insensitivity, it’s no wonder the agency fails.
Gut ACS, Mayor Bloomberg. Gut the whole thing from the top down and start again.
Surely there must be child protection professionals in this city who, instead of just making excuses and covering their useless posteriors, actually care about the children they are charged with protecting

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