The mother of a Mississippi infant who authorities say died after being left in a hot car while in the care of her father has signed an affidavit asking for all charges to be dropped, the Jackson, Miss., Clarion-Ledger reports.
Shanice Caradine, the mother of 8-month-old Shania Caradine, in the affidavit making her request called the incident a "tragic accident."
Shania's father, 25-year-old Joshua Blunt, is facing charges of manslaughter after officials say he left the infant in the sweltering vehicle while he went to work.
With the affidavit, Blunt's attorney, Carlos Moore, said that he hopes Grenada County District Attorney Doug Evans will drop the charges, adding that his understanding was that Evans was pursuing the charge at the mother's request.
"We have it in writing that the mother of the child doesn't want this," Moore said. "The million-dollar question is, who is pushing the issue and why?"
According to the Clarion-Ledger, Moore had accused Evans, who is white, of pushing the charge because Blunt is black, calling it an example of "blatant racism."
The site notes that less than two weeks before Shania's death, another child, 2-year-old Caroline Bryant, died in Madison County after being left in a hot car by her mother, who is white, and charges have not been filed in that case.
"Do black lives matter all of a sudden when a black father leaves a baby in the car?" Moore said. "We do know that if the baby had been running from a cop and been killed, no one would have done jail time there."
Evans said that his office will still be pursuing the charge, given that Blunt was indicted by a grand jury.
Read more at USA Today.