Wednesday, March 29, 2023

NCCPR news and commentary round-up, week ending March 29, 2023

● Jimmie Garland, president of the Middle Tennessee chapter of the NAACP had this to say about the Black children needlessly torn from their family after a traffic stop that was, itself, questionable. 

As Tennessee Lookout reports, Garland: 

called the situation reminiscent of driving trips through Southern states that he took as a child in the 1960s when Black families feared being unjustly detained by police, accosted by residents and could not enter restaurants or motels. 

“I’m 73 now. Back then we wouldn’t travel if we couldn’t do it in eight hours. When I think what happened back then and what’s happening in 2023, it’s the same scenario. The bottom line is this is because they were driving while black. Instead of Tennessee going forward, it’s going backward,” he said. 

And see also, context for this case from Dorothy Roberts in Reckon

“They Really Wanted to See My Baby Get Taken Away.” That’s the headline on a New York Magazine story about a hospital that allegedly went to astounding lengths to secretly test a mother for drugs, and then report her to the family police because she tested positive for marijuana. 

● Something similar happened in Virginia.  WSLS-TV reports that children were taken and their mother was “set up for failure” by a family police agency that made reunification “impossible to achieve for the mother.”  Who says so? The state’s Office of Children’s Ombudsman. 

Law 360 sums it up perfectly:

 As New York City schools shuttered and people went into lockdown amid the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, city officials expected that having more children stuck at home would mean more children suffering abuse or neglect — but they were proven wrong. 

● Back in 2021 ProPublica exposed the diversion of federal funds from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), a program intended to help poor people become self-supporting, into a family policing slush fund, with money used to investigate those same families and take away their children.  That story focused on Arizona, which probably has the worst such record in the nation.   But surely that wouldn’t happen in progressive New York City, where the family police agency is constantly talking about how much it wants to keep families together, right?  Wanna bet? Check out Nora McCarthy’s latest column for The Imprint. 

● That diversion continues despite the fact that it seems as though every week there's another study documenting that putting more funds in to curbing poverty significantly reduces what family policing agencies call "neglect." This week is no exception.

Honolulu Civil Beat reports that the Hawaii Legislature failed to pass laws to provide the most minimal due process protections for families when the family police knock on the door.  As we explained in the story: It’s not easy to counter 50 years of “health terrorism” – the misrepresentation of the true nature and scope of a problem in the name of “raising awareness.” 

● One of the reasons Minnesota has been unable to curb child abuse deaths is because Minnesota tears apart families at one of the highest rates in the nation.  I discuss this in a column for the Brainerd Dispatch. 

And finally: two items about family defense: 

The Imprint interviews Tehra Coles, the new director of New York’s Center for Family Representation. 

● And, what do you know? Harvard Law School now has a family defense clinic!