The family of a Mississippi woman, Kambria Gabrielle Darby, who was arrested for child abuse when she took her toddler shopping at Walmart with only a diaper on in freezing temperatures, is insisting she is a good mom.
Darby is currently facing charges of child neglect. The incident, including Darby’s confrontation and rant inside the store, went viral after a Walmart employee posted a video. Darby’s great-aunt, Marie Darby Pickens, 69, residing in Jackson, Mississippi, where many of Darby’s relatives live, attested to never witnessing evidence of Darby being a bad mother. She also asserted that Darby does not use drugs.
“Everything I’ve seen with her and the kids has been positive,” Pickens, a retired social worker, told the New York Post. “I don’t condone what was done and it was right to be reported but we don’t know both sides of the story. Sometimes kids can be difficult not wanting to put their clothes on, or taking them off and maybe she was in a rush to pick up some things.”
Pickens said that Darby brought her three kids to visit their 92-year-old great-great-grandmother during her final moments, and they behaved appropriately. She indicated that while Darby exhibited poor judgment in the recent incident, people must also seek to understand Darby’s story.
“I’m not saying there are underlying mental health issues in her case, but you need to find out her story. What she did showed poor judgment, certainly, and it’s very unfortunate because one incident like this can ruin a life.”
Darby’s mother, Lakiisha Darby, declined to comment on the matter. However, she later communicated via text that the family wished to return to their life before the incident and would not provide further comments.
The Walmart employee, Felicia Darling, who recorded the video, observed Darby appropriately dressed for the 20-degree weather but with her toddler only in a diaper in a cold shopping cart. Shoppers confronted Darby inside the Byram, Mississippi store, with footage capturing her tossing a bag of frozen vegetables at the shivering child.
Darby has been released on bond conditions set by the Hinds County Youth Court. EMS crews were summoned to assess the child’s well-being before Child Protection Services intervened. The toddler was subsequently entrusted to an approved relative. Following her release from jail, Darby addressed her actions and parenting style on social media, offering a defense for her choices.
“I have pics of every meal I’ve cooked them’ as proof of her parenting fitness. This deformation [sic] of character is hurting my heart,” she wrote on her Facebook wall.
Darby also drew a comparison between her treatment inside the store and the experiences of Jesus.
“They did Jesus the same way, he felt sick to his stomach as well; he didn’t want to go through it.”