The so-called “cycle of thuggery” video was posted by the Omaha Police Union, and the boy and three other children have been placed into child protective custody.
The toddler's 16-year-old mother, Ennisha Devers, said she did not film the video and that she is upset with her brother for recording it.
“He was wrong for doing it -- posting the video up and getting us into a situation,” she said. “That video -- it wasn't me. It was a person that came in to my house and recorded it. Everybody that thinks I'm a bad mother, I'm not. I’m a good mother to my son. I teach him a lot, and he is very smart.”
In the clip, the young boy gives the middle finger and says "Shut up, bitch," when prompted.
"He had a clean diaper, the house was clean and like they said, kids curse, every kid does it," Devers said.
The Omaha Police Union has been taking heat from the city's police chief, the ACLU and others for posting the video, in what the union said was an effort to highlight the "cycle of violence and thuggery" plaguing the Nebraska community, but critics said was just antagonistic.
"The focus here isn't on any particular ethnic group. The focus here is on the troubling behavior toward this child," said union president Sgt. John Wells. "This behavior is going to potentially lead this child down a path that is completely unhealthy."
Still, court records obtained by KETV show that the 19-year-old caretaker of both the mother and toddler, and the other children, had already contacted a caseworker about trouble with the person who posted the video -- two days before it went viral on Facebook.
Devers is also in protective custody. On Monday, authorities will tell her if she and her son can be placed in the same foster home. “It hurts, it does,” she said.