Filmmaker Brian Knappenberger investigates the tragic death of an 8-year-old California boy who endured horrific abuse by his mother and her boyfriend, along with the fractured and complex systems that failed to protect him.
Workers at the Department of Child and Family Services are interviewed about why, despite abuse reports, Gabriel wasn't removed from the home. Gabriel's siblings testify about the torture he endured,...
In 2013, 8-year-old Gabriel Fernandez died as a result of horrific and prolonged abuse by his mother and her boyfriend. In the wake of the tragedy, a demand for justice and accountability exploded in Los Angeles County. This six-part documentary series from award-winning documentarian Brian Knappenberger (Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press) offers an inside look at the trial as well as an eye-opening investigation into the government systems that failed to protect Gabriel, despite multiple reports and warning signs. Along with shedding light on an important story, The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez serves as a wake-up call to reexamine the structures designed to protect children in need.
An old African proverb states that it takes a village to raise a child. Clearly that is not what happened in this situation. A child was tortured and murdered in the very midst of thousands of villagers; so I suppose one could also say that it takes a village to torture and murder a child. It is inconceivable that so few of the villagers attempted to raise any legitimate alarm even when they had to know that something was seriously wrong with the boy's family and that the boy was in danger.
A saying from the Bible's story of Cain and Abel comes to mind: After Cain had murdered his brother Abel, God asked him where his brother was. Cain answered, "I know not; am I my brother's keeper?"
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