ACWORTH, Ga. - A Georgia woman faces child cruelty charges after taking her 10-year-old son to get a tattoo.
She says she didn't know it was illegal and her son had a good reason to want the body art.
Chuntera Napier said her family is still grieving the death of her 12 year old son, Malik -- hit and killed by a teenage driver in Macon, Georgia some two years ago.
She has tattoos of her own in memory of Malik and says her now 10-year-old, Gaquan was with Malik when he died.
"My son came to me and said, 'Mom, I want to get a tattoo with Malik on it, rest in peace.' What do I say to a child that wants to remember his brother?" she said.
Gaquan said he wanted the tattoo, “Because it represents my brother."
So Napier took Gaquan to a tattoo artist in Smyrna and the youngster got a tattoo featuring Malik's old jersey number.
"It made me feel good to know that he wanted his brother on him," Napier said.
Someone at his school noticed it, they called authorities and police pulled up a 2010 law that says: It shall be unlawful for any person to tattoo the body of any person under the age of 18, except for a physician or osteopath.
Acworth Chief Mike Wilkie said while they felt for the family's grief, a consultation with the district attorney and solicitor's office tied their hands.
"We hope that they can find something that can sustain them through that loss, but this is not the way, it is illegal and it's something that we were bound by the law to investigate and to prosecute," he said.
Asked if she thought it was illegal to allow her son to get a tattoo Napier said, "No, I always thought that if a parent gave consent, then it's fine."
Police are also investigating the tattoo artist.
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