New York state officials are investigating the death of Zymere Perkins, the Harlem 6-year-old who died in the hospital earlier this week after being rushed there covered in bruises, the New York Post reports.
Investigators will be looking into whether or not there was any wrongdoing in child protective services' handling of the child's case.
“We’re going to review the matter because the state does have oversight,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “This was a terrible, terrible tragedy, and it should remind us all that what government does, matters, and when government fails, there are consequences.”
Zymere died Monday after being taken to the hospital by his mother, Geraldine Perkins. The little boy was covered in bruises all over his body.
According to the Post, the announcement of the state investigation comes the day after the New York City Department of Investigation issued an "executive order 16 document demand" to the city Administration for Children's Services, demanding details of at least five documented reports of potential abuse involving Zymere. There was an incident that dates to April, when he went to school and complained about leg pain.
In that April incident, Zymere and his mother, Geraldine Perkins, were interviewed by the New York City Police Department and the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, as well as by a social worker from victim-support organization Safe Horizons. However, nothing ever came from those interviews, the Post reports.
“They determined at that time that there was not substantial injury to the child at all and then returned the child to the mother,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce explained Thursday.
According to the Post, police sources say that Zymere told school officials that his cousin had hit him with a scooter, but that if his mother was asked what happened, she would lie and say he fell.
Geraldine Perkins and her boyfriend, Rysheim Smith, have both been charged with child endangerment in Zymere's case. Perkins has accused Smith of beating Zymere with a broomstick.
“We are extremely troubled by this case. . . . The city is prioritizing the thorough review of the death of Zymere Perkins, and will implement reforms where necessary, as well as hold responsible any individuals who failed in their duties to protect this child," an Administration for Children's Services spokesperson told the Post.
Read more at the New York Post.