Last May (2010), a neighbour of the Hendersons made an anonymous 911 call to the police in Pasadena California. The neighbour had been in an ongoing dispute with the Hendersons and claimed to have witnessed Jeffrey Pierce Henderson slapping his daughter.
Police showed up at the Henderson's door and demanded entry. When requested by the Hendersons, the officers would not share their badge information with them. The parents held the children up to the window to demonstrate that they were fine. The police insisted on entering the home, and the parents refused. Please note that the police were not carrying a warrant and the Hendersons understood that the police had no legal right to enter their home.
The police then proceeded to break down the door. Jeffrey was beaten in front of his wife and children, taken to hospital and then put in jail for two months. He was never formally charged (in CA you can be held without charge for up to 80 days). Erica was 7 months pregnant at the time. When Jeffrey was finally released, she had their son Elijah the next day at home unassisted.
Earlier this year the Hendersons filed a suit against the Pasadena police dept in regards to the incident that occurred last may...and then were both arrested and jailed in April of this year. The Hendersons were charged with criminal misconduct for refusing to allow the police to enter their home without a search warrant. They were both arrested and jailed. The children were placed with CPS for "child endangerment" stemming from the May 2010 incident. The Hendersons were not given an option to find an alternate family member or friend to care for their children.
The six children were placed initially in several different foster homes. They are now in four different homes, and Abigail, their only daughter, has been placed in a home by herself without any of her brothers. Erica suffered mastitis while in prison (she had been nursing her youngest two boys when arrested) and was not given a breastpump. Jeffrey was denied kosher food as required by his religious beliefs and lost almost 50 lbs while in jail.
After several trial delays, Erica and Jeffrey's case was dismissed due to lack of grounds. They were released from incarceration on June 22. They were renting their home and while in jail, lost their apartment and all their possessions. The only thing they still have is their van.
Jeffrey and Erica are now dealing with the legal issues surrounding getting their children back from CPS. There was a court order in place for Elijah, the baby, to receive screened breastmilk but this hasn't happened. He is now swollen and has sores all over his body and his mother presumes it is from the formula he is being fed. Erica suspects the children have been vaccinated while in care because the boys told her of the doctor hurting them with sharp things in their arms. The parents are allowed to see the children twice a week. Repeated calls to the CPS agency have not been returned or adequatly answered. The social workers have been charged $200 at a hearing because they have not followed court orders in regards to the children.
Jeffrey and Erica's lawyer is now back from vacation. They have a CPS hearing set for July 13. Please stay tuned to find out how you can help them through media and other action. In the meantime, please sign the petition and join us on our Facebook group to find out how you can help the Hendersons.
In April of this year, the Henderson children were removed from their family home by DCFS when the Hendersons were taken into custody to answer for charges of obstructing an officer and child endangerment. The Henderson Family was exonerated on Tuesday June 21st, 2011 when the case was dismissed following an 1118.1 motion. Since the Henderson children were removed based solely on these false allegations, it is in the best interest of the Henderson children to to return home without delay to their parents.
Elijah, the youngest child, is breastfed and should be returned to his mother immediately so he may be able to get the nourishment he needs. Until they are reunited with their parents, the children must be allowed to have meaningful access to a dependable and frequent visitation schedule. There are no grounds for and therefore should be no restrictions on the father's visitation. The parents must be allowed to see their children every day. These children are very attached to their parents, and their separation is causing them undue and unnecessary stress.
Until the children are reunited with their family, Erica should be allowed to provide breastmilk for her baby. Erica is concerned about his health and feels that he has been compromised due to being fed infant formula. Up until the writing of this letter, Marisol Gonzalez has denied breastmilk for Elijah and Wailon Henderson. The agency stated that no one contacted them about breastmilk for Elijah, and that is why he has not been provided with it. His parents maintain that this is not the case. It is our understanding that the court ordered the child to have the milk, and it is mandatory for DFCS to follow that order.
Considering that the case against Erica and Jeffrey Henderson was dismissed, we ask that you reunite the family immediately.