Topic

Police Accountability

78 petitions

Update posted 3 weeks ago

Petition to Nathan Deal, David Perdue, Georgia State Senate, Beth Beskin, Kasey Carpenter, John Deffenbaugh, Sharon Cooper, Donald J. Trump, Michelle Obama, Department of Justice, Johnny Isakson, Wesley "Wes" Cantrell, Georgia State House, Bill Haslam, Mary Margaret Margaret Oliver, Don Parsons, U.S. House of Representatives

CHILDREN BEING KIDNAPPED IN CATOOSA CO., FORT O., GA (& SURROUNDING CHATTANOOGA AREAS)

           My  name is Elizabeth Woods, I am from Chattanooga, TN.       For every child DFCS/CPS takes “into custody”, the state level government (DHHS, DHS, CPS) receive a federal funded payment of $4,000 per child, and if a child is special needs - (which applies to my oldest son, Jaiden) - the state receives an additional $2,000, totaling $6,000 per special needs child taken into state custody. The caseworkers, are being paid various "bonuses" when children remain in The Foster Care System for over 30 days, and again if their parent's rights are terminated (15 months in custody/foster care) and they are in "permanent placement", or adopted. The caseworkers are allowed to lie in their reports, be assisted by law enforcement (who are allowed to do the same in their “child crime investigation report”) to intimidate parents into letting them inside their homes, and also assist in the "legal kidnapping" of children on a national level, I am experiencing the reality of this epidemic in Fort Oglethorpe, Catoosa County, Georgia. I am writing this because I need to make people aware of the REAL threat that these "social workers" and "caseworkers" and even the “police officers”, truly are to all of us. They are supposed to be protecting us and our children as citizens. My goal is to not only make more parents aware of this growing "billion dollar industry" of trafficking children within our own country, but in effort to ultimately make a successful reform of the "Child Welfare" system and personally ensure these people that have willingly destroyed families for decades are all accountable for their actions at every legal level possible.               My family and I are currently dealing with the fact that my 3 happy and healthy children have been illegally kidnapped from me in Catoosa County, Fort Oglethorpe, GA. Last Thursday September 20th, 2018, a woman from DFCS/CPS and a Catoosa County police officer came to our home at 1:55 PM. My father went outside and then almost immediately opened the door and called for me. When I went outside, the woman informed me that I had been accused of "abuse and/or neglect". When she said this, I almost scoffed at the initial explanation, and asked what these accusations were exactly. She then, with a smile on her face, said my daughter "was covered from head to toe in bruises" and it had be reported that "I have a spoon that I place into the microwave and/or oven to warm up, and then spank my children with it". At that time, my fiance came outside to leave for work. The woman very briefly introduced herself, by department, and the officer asked to speak with him "in private" off to the side of the house. He was asked about the "bruises" and denied any knowledge of anything. The officer said that was all he needed and my fiance left and went to work. When the officer was walking back up to the porch as the woman asked if "we could continue the conversation about the abuse and neglect inside the home." (This is a month from the one year mark from last year when Catoosa county came inside my home and arrested me on charges that have all been dismissed due to "lack of evidence") I told her my oldest son would be getting off of the bus soon, and we could take a seat on the porch to finish whatever conversation they would like to have. Neither one of them liked that I didn't immediately welcome them into the house.             My father was on the porch speaking here and there, and one way or another, the question of what medication I was taking came up, I told them and they then asked me for my prescription bottles because they needed the brand name for the pills, not the generic name. I went inside and retrieved my empty bottles from last month because having already been through this a year ago, I did not want them to take my anxiety medication like they tried very hard to do last time. As I returned I immediately noticed my dad was gone, they said they sent him for a drug screen. Caught off guard by now being left alone, He said my bottle was from 2012 and it was not current and/or valid. At that time he pulled out his cell phone, told me to "sit down right there" pointing to a chair on the porch "and don't get up", I asked why and he ignored me as he continued in his phone. He called someone and said "Yeah, Hey, I need a search warrant." - gave my address and a description of the outside of the house - and said "Uh yeah I smell pot that's probable cause", "Thanks, Buddy, see ya soon". This was (as marked on the warrant 3:01 PM, over an hour of them being at my residence, which would have been over an hour of having already "smelled pot", why didn't they call for the search warrant immediately after smelling this if it were true)           My son's school bus was coming down our road, and my son approached the porch slowly because he didn't see me, but he saw the officer and the woman, as I had been told to "not get up". The officer stepped to the side and mumbled something into his walkie-talkie I couldn't make out, but I heard "transport". I then see a Catoosa County SUV K-9 Unit come down our road and stop in the culdesac. It was a female officer that stood to the side of the porch the rest of the time I was present. My daughter's bus shortly followed my son's, and she began walking down the road to the house. She immediately recognized the woman from DFCS because they had apparently had previous meetings at school, this woman apparently took photographs of my daughter and interviewed her multiple times without my knowledge or consent. At that time I would have normally gone straight to pick up my youngest son, but they wouldn't let me leave, and my father did not have a car seat and the lady from DFCS said he wouldn't be able to pick him up until his drug screen results were back. I told them they needed to call his school and explain, they refused, the officer then called the school "resource officer" who said no one would be in the building after 4:00, my son is supposed to be picked up no later than 3:30. My keys to unlock my car to get my father a car seat, were inside, and "because they didn't have their search warrant yet" I couldn't reenter my home. One of my car doors ended up being unlocked so my father got the car seat and left to pick up my son.           The DFCS worker began to ask me if I had anyone that would "watch" my kids temporarily if I did happen to be arrested, I listed various family members (Including their father, who they knew was readily available if need be) and friends of our family who all reside in TN and my parents who live at the residence. My father returned with my son and my kids were running around playing for a little while as the woman tried her best to question me and waste time until their search warrant got there.            After they got their search warrant, and searched the ENTIRE home (cereal boxes and all), they found "CBD Oil" (Which after READING THE LABEL says "HEMP-SEED OIL". I don't know how familiar you are with CBD oil, but it has recently been a very controversial subject. The product we had was from the Hemp plant, made from the male marijuana plant, it produces 0% THC. In other words, this oil is no different than any of the hemp products you'll find all over the shelves at Marshall's and Ulta and even Walmart. For this oil, they charged my mother and my father (who are both in their 60's) and myself with "Possession of less than 20 Ounces of Low THC Oil" - the oil contained NO THC. They also charged me with my own prescription of anxiety medication and took my entire prescription "as evidence", when asked if I could go ahead and take my daily dose before they arrested me, they said my bottle was already in an evidence bag. On the verge of a panic attack, they asked my dad to take the kids somewhere so they didn't have to see everything. He left and they handcuffed me, laughed at my request to be handcuffed up front due to a spinal cord injury and took me to Catoosa County Jail to be booked and at that time I didn't even know what for.             My father arrived shortly after I got into holding and my mother shortly after him. We got out after my father made all of our bonds, and returned home. My children were missing, there was no contact information left by either the officer or the woman from DFCS. I cried the entire night, when 7 AM finally came I began calling around to find my children. I was not given any answers or a call back until about 6 PM that evening. I was able to speak to my son Jaiden briefly as the woman mentioned something about him having a doctors appointment and that was why he was with her and not with my other 2 children.            We had court on Monday, September 24th, 2018, my fiance did not attend because the woman at DFCS said "if he comes to court, we will arrest him in front of your children" because she said Friday in a recorded phone conversation, she had "just gotten off the phone with the officer and he just filed the warrant". I attended with my mother and father and my daughter Kylie ran to me as I walked into the court waiting area. I had been told Jaiden would also be there and the "foster caregiver" mentioned him being at an evaluation in Atlanta. I immediately panicked, I was asking everyone and no one would give me any answers, but the same woman from DFCS made a note to tell me in the middle of court, she had, again, just gotten off the phone with the officer and he just finished filing the warrant because apparently warrants cannot be filed over the weekend (that was news to me) So I left that day knowing they had "briefly" separated my children for this "evaluation" and we had been told this random warrant for my fiance had once again been filed. That night my fiance called the bail bondsman that we used, and asked if he could run his name for a warrant since we kept being told this, he did and nothing came back.           Tuesday September 25th, my fiance and I had a scheduled visit to see our children. My mother and father got there before we did, as I had to convince my fiance they weren't going to arrest him like they said they would because they had yet again lied to us about this imaginary warrant. When we got there, the same DFCS worker came to get us from the lobby and her facial expression went from bad to worse when she saw my fiance was with me, as she made apparently clear to my mother via phone call saying "There's a problem, he is with her." Immediately she said we both would have to go take a "mandatory" drug screen and asked my fiance if he had taken care of his warrant. When we explained he didn't have one, she began to argue and say "yes you do, I just got off the phone with the officer and he just filed it". I told her to call the officer back and figure it out herself, because it's not showing up anywhere else but from out of her own mouth. She then started back up with the "mandatory drug screen" and her supervisor just happened to walk up and tell me how important this was and we MUST go and take it. (DFCS is not anything but a branch of a government agency and more often than not, they are going to overstep their boundaries if you allow them to) I asked her if the drug screens were court ordered, she said no, and I then told her neither me or my fiance will be doing anything that isn't court ordered and that would be against my constitutional rights to force me to do otherwise. She did not like this. We entered the visitation room and I saw my babies and they were so happy to see us, as were we to see them. I walked over to the back of the room where my father was and sat my notebook down and began recording on my phone. The woman then asked me again if we would be taking the drug screens, to which I responded "No" as I referenced the GA code stating I was legally allowed to refuse anything asked of DFCS, if not court ordered. She then told me I was "getting loud" and asked me to step out into the hallway with her to continue the conversation. I have video of our entire conversation. After calling her bluff of "having a court order to remove my children" she supplied me with 3 documents all saying the same thing verbatim to the initial complaint, this "court order" was also dated for the day following the removal of my children, with a retroactive date for the 20th (which is said to be frowned upon in any court of law to retroactively date any type of official court document). The caseworker also, in the meantime, released my 3 children into her own care. This was also when I was made aware that this "evaluation" they sent my oldest son to Atlanta for, was for a mere "well-check" visit that all 3 children would have to have. When asked if my other 2 children had to go to Atlanta to have this doctors appointment they said "No, the other children are placed up here". I was in shock at that point, I heard the word "placed", I asked them what they meant by placed and she said that the only place that would take him was in Atlanta and that she was doing everything she could to get him back up here. I needed more than just that explanation, they eventually dropped their lies and said he had been placed into a "first-time foster family", in Atlanta, on Friday (the day following their initial removal). He's being enrolled in school in Atlanta, which part or why or even how, I have no idea. They aren't even supposed to have my children, let alone be making their medical care or educational decisions. My son told me (motioned giving himself a shot) that he didn't want to go back, my son has a significant speech delay and a developmental delay and I pretty much am the only one that can understand him. He has been ripped away from not only his mother and father and the rest of our family, but now he is alone and ripped away from his brother and sister, in a completely different part of the state. When I saw my youngest son, I immediately noticed his face being swollen, from catching a cold or from possibly a lot of crying (which my daughter told me he had been non stop crying for me, and was not sleeping or eating), I'm not sure, but it worries me either way. As I entered the visitation room after an almost hour long conversation, which ended by the supervisor telling me "all this talking you've done, now you only have 5 minutes left with those precious babies of yours", I removed myself from the situation with the various caseworkers and reentered the visitation room and informed my parents and my fiance that Jaiden had been placed somewhere in Atlanta and we needed to get a lawyer very fast. The new caseworker assigned to my case entered the room at that point and said they were going to call law enforcement. I told her we were about to leave and that wouldn't be necessary. I hugged all 3 of my kids, told them I love them, kissed them goodbye, and told them I would have them home as soon as I possibly can. I was hysterical at that point and distraught doesn't even come close to the feeling I had after taking in all of that... mess. Walking down the hallway to leave, hearing all 3 of them screaming and crying was tearing my heart into pieces... I have never felt physical pain from emotional pain until that day. It has taken me a very long time to write all of this, mainly because I keep playing it all over in my head trying to think of what I did to deserve this or what I did to cause this to happen to my children. I still can't come up with anything... I know I have left out a few major things, the report contains all of the information regarding the "gang related material" found in the home which was a simple black bandanna implied to be in some correlation to the firearm they found. They took my fiance's registered firearm and don't have any justifiable reasoning. Right now, my main concern is my kids, and at the very least getting them back together, and ultimately out of the hands of the ones who are causing my children more mental and undoubtedly physical harm than they have ever been even remotely exposed to in their lives. I love my kids and I know where my heart is and what it's telling me to do. Even though it may be scattered across the state of Georgia, my heart is telling me everything these people have done and everything they have put my kids through, is wrong. Since September 20th, I have not been able to sleep, my hair has started falling out in clumps, and I haven't eaten very much at all. Until something like this happens to you, there is no possible way you could grasp how life changing this truly is. I know personally, I will never forget what happened on that day and what is still currently going on and I will probably never forgive the individuals involved. What is even worse in my mind, is the fact that my children are more than likely going to remember this for their rest of their lives as well. I just pray they know I am doing everything within my power to get them home where they belong, and I hope they know their family loves them all so much and I will not give up until I have them back in my arms... I have never felt so helpless and alone in my entire life. I am telling our story in hopes that no family ever has to go through what we are being forced to deal with right now. I know when all of this is said and done, I will definitely expect someone (if not multiple people) to be held accountable for what has been done to us. Also, I would like to see a complete audit and investigation done on the entire DHS in Catoosa County, GA as well as the Catoosa County Sheriff's Office and their involvement and assistance to the various departments within DHS. Below I have listed a few websites which contain very informative and accurate information regarding the complete corruption of CPS and DFCS.   PETITION UPDATE October 2nd - Rearrested OCT 4, 2018 -                  2 Catoosa County Officers came to our residence, again, October 2nd, 2018 to serve a warrant for mine and my fiance's arrests. His warrant was issued "September 27th, 2018" and was for "Felony Possession of under 20 Ounces of Low THC Oil" (Later, while being held at the Catoosa County Jail, they admitted they had their paperwork wrong and his charge was a misdemeanor) My warrant was "issued September 21st, 2018" (Keep in mind, this was also the date I was previously released from jail on the original charges, so they let me leave the jail with an active warrant?) for "Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Felony. When asked what "felony", I was given no answer. I remained at Catoosa County on "No Bond", until October 3rd, around 1:30 PM I saw the Magistrate Judge and was given a $3500 bond at that time. My father posted my bond, and I was out by 4:00 PM. We go to court for our children October 4th, 2018 at 11 AM. I will keep everyone informed as to what happens in court. Thank you all for all of your support, and please continue to share! This fight is FAR from over!   PETITION UPDATE “October 4th - 10 Day Hearing” -                 October 4th, we went to court for the mandatory 10 day hearing (14 days following the date of removal, 4 days past requirements.) We sat for two hours and eventually made it into the courtroom, only to be told the court reporter had to leave for whatever reason and “had no choice” but to file for a continuance, in direct violation of my parental rights. We are scheduled for court Thursday October 11th, 10 days before my youngest son Korvin’s 3rd Birthday on the 22nd. During court on the 4th, Kylie said Juice (Korvin) was at “the foster people’s house”, not going to school and is still not eating or sleeping, “he wakes up crying for mommy”. Kylie also said the new “foster lady” said she was going to “adopt all 3 of us”, and said “I’m just ready to come home..”. Jaiden was at the court date and first thing out of his mouth was “Mommy!” -gave me a hug- “I’m hungry..”, I asked if he’d been eating, he said no. I know he has eaten, but I had already noticed he had lost weight when I hugged him and his stomach was almost “sunken in”, so to speak. As I began to try and talk more to Jaiden, the “transport” lady asked Jaiden if he was hungry, he immediately said yes and said “french fries” when the lady asked what he wanted and looked up at me puzzled as if to ask for interpretation. When she said something that made Jaiden realize he was about to leave, he immediately started crying and looked at me and said “I don’t wanna go back” - “I go home with you”, as he put his head down on my chest sobbing. It never gets any easier saying goodbye. I haven’t seen Juice (Korvin) since visitation on September 25th. Kylie says he is “okay”, and I know she’s constantly watching over her little brother during all of this. While waiting to go into the courtroom, I realized I could only see a shirt on Kylie, no shorts. So I told her to come to me and I checked the size of her shorts, they were a size 6. Kylie wears a 7/8, she turned 8 May 26th, I immediately brought this to the attention of our “caseworker”. She said I was more than welcome to bring her more clothes. To which I responded, “Aren’t these people getting paid for having them?” and she confirmed my assumption and said “Well they are given a clothing allowance..” I interrupted her and said “Considering they’re getting a clothing allowance, they can use the money being given to them by the federal government for what it is intended for, appropriate sized clothing for my daughter.” I then asked her to make sure my daughter was in clothes that fit her appropriately next court date and I would not be supplying them. The caseworker said Jaiden is supposed to be moved into the “new foster home” reuniting him with brother and sissy and ultimately one step closer to coming home. I’m ready for Thursday, now more than ever, firstly because I am confident that I am continuously preparing my defense to be a step ahead of them at all times and secondly, I will enjoy the looks on every face when I present my evidence of the various contradictions in their reports and the inaccuracies that are purely fabricated, and their forced to either admit their mistakes and wrong doings or continue to lie and try to cover their tracks which are set in stone. Please continue to share my petition, and most importantly keep us all in your prayers and thoughts. I will update Thursday October 11th following court. Thank you again to everybody that has shown their support through all of this, if nothing else, the kind words are uplifting and help me find my strength to keep fighting!   ** After speaking with Ms. Burns at Governor Nathan Deal’s office, she said there was nothing they could help me with because “the Governor does not have any say so over a judge’s decision” (even though there is not yet a decision, either way, Senator Perdue rerouted my concerns back to Mr. Deal’s Office for “assistance”), she also made it clear that these petitions, like mine online, ARE NEVER EVEN LOOKED AT, “oh, we don’t pay those things any attention, anything like that has to be submitted in writing.” 

Liz Woods
726 supporters
Started 1 month ago

Petition to US Senate, House of Representatives, White House, U.S. House of Representatives, Clinton Foundation, Shaun King, MSNBC, CNN, Democracy Now!

Hands Up Act

My name is Travis Washington. I will be graduating with an M. A, degree in Higher Education and Administration from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in May 2019. I have been politically involved, from registering people to vote, to work in the Springfield Capitol (as an Alexander Lane Fellow, January to May 2017). We know how so many people of cultural minorities are in constant fear of leaving their household. This fear in our lives far too often comes from individuals working in public safety who harm people. Every single week we hear about another unarmed innocent vulnerable human being shot by the police. This has caused increased the trauma and fear that has made people of color scared to leave their homes. We need legislation now that prohibits police officers from shooting unarmed citizens. If there isn’t a weapon found after someone has been shot (therefore, unarmed) by a police officer, then I propose that the officer should receive a mandatory 15-year prison sentence. We have seen over and over police officers get off, even with videotape footage of citizens having been shot by police officers. This is a new form of lynching. I am pleading with you to propose a bill that protects people who have every right to feel threatened by law enforcement. We always say we need more training for those involved in public safety, and there are increasing policies and laws that mandate that police officers have “body cameras” on them. Those measures do not address the whole problem, not when the individual officers who shoot unarmed victims aren’t punished. Senator, we are in a crisis where relationships between people of color and police officers are deteriorating, beyond the critical level. In order to build any sort of positive relationships again, we need laws to keep a balance in the lives of all the public. I might even suggest this as a title for this proposed legislation: the Hands UP ACT. I will be emailing this to the all of your colleagues in the U. S. Senate, members of Congress, State Governors; Democracy Now, the Huffington Post, ThinkProgress; and to other appropriate organizations across the country. Thank You

Travis Washington
266 supporters