If you are anything like me, you are more than ready for 2020 to arrive and leave. One of the main reasons I can’t wait to see 2020 come and go is because we are in desperate need of new blood in Congress. We have two types of people occupying Congress right now. We have people unwilling to disturb the waters, and people who are jumping into the deep end of the pool, without knowing how to swim.
Meanwhile, we have this issue with Speaker Of The House Pelosi and President Trump. If I didn’t know any better, I would swear that these two have a secret flirt affair going on. On one hand we have Democrats calling for the impeachment process to start. On the other hand,Speaker of the House Pelosi wants to see President Trump locked up.
So, what am I missing? The last time I checked the president can’t be locked up without being impeached. If you aren’t going to start the process, repair your relationship and move on. The bickering and jabbing is starting to get old. Most of us just want to see results that benefit our country. We want to see a fair immigration system, better healthcare, a judicial system that works for all, and climate control.
We want to see an immigration system that does not destabilize countries that need each other. We also need to focus on making sure people have the right to healthcare and that they aren’t kicked off their plans due to preexisting illnesses. There is a mental health crisis in this country and nobody seems to want to talk about that. The truth is, treating mental illness is more expensive than treating asthma in some cases. I recall going to the doctor to schedule an exam for my daughter’s ADHD it was going to cost us over 300 with insurance. We aren’t even talking about the medication, we are talking about the mental health exam. Estimations show that we have at least 66 million people that are documented having some sort of mental illness problem occurring within 1 yr. https://www.nami.org/learn-more/mental-health-by-the-numbers
Those estimates are based on people that we track, there are millions more who are suffering from things and they will never go into a clinic. They will stay in the dark due to the fear of stigma attached to being mentally ill. Yet, we argue about gun control and forget about the very things that cause people to act out. If congress feels the need to proceed with the process of impeachment , then so be it. However, if there is nothing there, we need to move on and fix our issues as a country. We have seen enough dancing between Pelosi and Trump. If I want to be entertained, I will watch a dancing show.
As of lately we have been hearing rumors about children being rented and used a collateral in a ploy to gain access to America. By now most of us who have been following this story are also aware of the fact that children are being placed on birth control to make the journey to America. Millions of people are calling for the children to be united with their parents, however is that placing the children in harms way?
What we know for certain, is that most of the people traveling to the United States are men. In an earlier article that I posted, I gave links to direct sites in Guatemala breaking down the people and groups taking on the journey to America. If you read that article, you should recall that most of the people were young working men while another large group happened to be children. The third group was made of families traveling with their children.
In some cases mothers have been seen telling reporters that they have had to place their children on birth control due to the real threat of sexual assault. Keep in mind, these children weren’t placed on birth control prior to the journey which makes you question their level of safety. Now, with the latest findings we are learning that many of these child could have been exploited. The Hill reported that senators have been briefed on exploitation. https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/447288-dhs-official-warns-gop-senators-about-rented-babies-at-border
Make no mistake renting children, using children as tickets to come over is a form of exploitation. ICE is designed to prevent and control exploitation of children and prevent further damage. However, with the enormous amount of people crossing the border, it is now a race to properly investigate who is a victim and who isn’t.
More than ever, the public needs to understand that our opinions do not surpass the need for safety in regards to these children. Our leaders need to start looking at this situation in a new light which means they need to see these children as potential victims instead of treating them like POWs. We must commit to fully understanding who the children are and if these children have been used as a means to gain entry into this country, we must protect them. The borders need to be secured until we understand what we are dealing with.
I wish I could tell you that cases like the Central Park 5 no longer exist. I wish I could tell you that all investigations are done with fairness, but I won’t insult your intelligence today. The movie When They See Us is a painful reminder that not everyone with a badge or a title can be trusted to work for the betterment of their community.
I’m sure if you have been following my blog, you know my story. I turned in my badge over a year ago after I saw railroading techniques being used to trap minorities. It takes a strong person to go against their livelihood. In my situation, I transferred from another region because I wanted to move my family to a smaller town. I thought a smaller town would offer better people and a better foundation for my girls.
After I got here, I immediately started seeing issues. I came from a big city and investigations there weren’t easy. I was nearly raped, threatened by a weapon, and was even surrounded by racist at one point. Yet, I loved my job and I could see the good in helping out my community. I had a supervisor who clearly looked out for her community, she cared about trying to help children, and she cared about helping their families learn to rehabilitate in difficult situations.
I came here with background in removing children from parents using cocaine and meth. I also had the removals that resulted in removals from people who no longer wanted to be parents. After I got here, my very first case was a case involving an African American mother from another state. She had relatives here and a mother hours away. Not only did she have a mother hours away, the children had a father who was trying to see how he could get in route to pick up his children.
While I was trying to work with the family on finding a solution my supervisor was trying to push a removal on the mother due to her getting arrested. Keep in mind, there was an aunt living in the household and people who could have been here within hours. The policemen looked at me and asked me if I was really going to let that happen, and I reaffirmed them that I would do everything in my power to stop it.
After going back and forward with my boss I was able to get her to work with the family until we were able to get the father or grandmother headed in our direction. The thing about removals is that they often do not get overturned. They last for at least a year and children are forced to stay in foster care. So, if there is a family member, we were taught to do everything within our power to unite that child with their family, but in this unit they didn’t do that. Even after this case was ready for closure, and the female had her children back in another state my supervisor was trying to get the state to take action against the mom. The state politely let us know that the mother was doing good and to bud out at this point.
I have always been very careful about removals due to the stress that it places on the children. I removed only when I needed to and questioned anything that looked fishy even when it wasn’t my removal. A few cases later I came across a female who had just gotten out of the hospital. She tested positive for marijuana. Marijuana is not something that we remove for in the state of Texas. People get a quitting marijuana packet due to it not being crack or meth.
When I gave her an oral swab her medications that she had been given at surgery showed up. Keep in mind she had just been released from the hospital and her urine didn’t have any traces of those drugs nor the baby’s prior to or while giving birth. I still went on and confirmed with the nurses as to the type of medication that this lady was given. My supervisor wanted me to remove once again due to her results coming back positive even though she knew she had just had a c-section.
She swore up and down that a positive meant she had used something. I told her to google the medication and see what positives would show up and she did, but she still didn’t want to believe me or the medical professionals. I informed her that I wouldn’t be doing a removal because this mother wasn’t doing anything that warranted a removal. I even gave her another drug test which came back negative two days later.
I have always had issues with investigators who removed and placed kids into foster care without trying to locate family members. She and others stated that it took too long. The process could take hours, but it was still worth it if you could keep the family together and maintain safety. She talked about how she would talk only to PDs who would lean towards removals because she didn’t want to do family placements. Again this is killing the families, but she didn’t care. Once she joked about being the Removal Queen. All I could hear was I’m messed up so many families due to not wanting to put in extra time on family placements.
We already knew that in most cases that minorities were targeted by false calls. Did you know that only 15 percent of CPS cases are real abuse? That means that 85 percent are lies and anyone can call in on people. While we have had some cases that were real, we have had so many more that were nothing more than vendettas.
Here’s the cold hard truth about cases in the black community and Spanish communities. When people look to remove often times these families will not be able to get their children back. If they have any sort of record dealing from old cases, criminal cases or people in the house with any central registry case they will be voided out as a potential caregiver. There are so many minorities with charges on them due to possession of marijuana, criminal trespass or failure to identify. Then if that doesn’t get them there’s a case on them for being victims of domestic violence.
They changed the regulation on domestic violence about 1 yr or 2 yrs ago. Prior to that if you were involved in a domestic violence relationship and were a victim they could put a reason to believe on you. So, the victim would get victimized twice. In some states they still do this, they still charge the victim with a reason to believe which knocks them out for any job dealing with children, or elderly. It also prevents them from taking family members if children are ever removed in the future.
I finally quit my job because of a case that should have been a removal, but my boss didn’t want to believe the children who were the victims in the case. I worked the case with at least three other law officials from two other states. The parent was a runner and drug abuser. She was grooming her children to be sexually abused while their father was looking for them. The father spent time in prison for manslaughter only because the state didn’t have a law on the books for self defense. I found out everything about the dad. He was a good hardworking citizen, paid his dues, took parenting classes, and even earned certificates. He had held down a job, his only true crime was being black and trying to stop a white man from killing him.
I found out that he had been looking for his children for years while the mother was letting them get beaten and molested. So, I let him take his children and my boss knew this, but you better believe she lied to the program manager about it. The program manager who was just as crazy as she was wanted us to get the kids back. Here’s the issue, because they didn’t want to remove those kids, they would have went back to the mom and the abuser. So, there was no way in hell I was going to do that. I called the dad told him to get a lawyer. Needless to say, anything else would have been just as crazy as the prior cases, so I quit soon after that case.
This father wasn’t going to be able to protect his children because of a conviction he got due to him trying to defend himself. He was already victimized by the system once and then we were going to let his children become victims of the system again. If you are poor, black or mentally ill the system will not work for you as it would for someone with a different stack of cards. Your only hope is to get a person who cares. When They See Us might be about the Central Park 5, but the issue is that, the stain of racism has soaked so deep into the fabric of what and who we are. It is in outcomes of child abuse cases, criminal cases and even family courts in some arenas. We have to understand that the fight isn’t over. There’s still work to be done.
I was looking at YouTube and I came across this video of a college student working outside of his dorm. He was collecting trash as part of a work study when a cop came up to him and started questioning him about his reasons for being there. The young man then pulls out the only ID he has which happens to be a student ID.
The cops questioned him about having identification with his address on it. As many of you know, school IDs do not have addresses on them, and depending on the student they might not have driver’s licenses. Well, as the student tries to explain that he doesn’t have anything else, the cops starts asking him about his birthday and all hell starts to break out.
This is the reason so many black children are killed in the line of fire. The student was rightfully upset, but he didn’t understand that he was risking his life by walking around not following directions. In my opinion, this cop tries to insinuate that this kid is becoming a threat to him. He was saying trigger words like threat, weapon and things such as that which would have warranted the use of a gun.
After the video continues a man walks outside the building and confirms the identity of the student which prompts the policemen to ask the man to talk to the student due to the student being upset over the encounter. This situation was in bad need for conflict management from the start. It’s time for policemen to start taking the deescalation training seriously. I recall going to a conference once with two young officers sitting behind us and they laughed and goofed around nearly half of the training. If we want things to get better on the outside, we need to make sure we are teaching better on the inside.
Many of you have probably seen the show on Hulu called The Act. As an ex child abuse investigator, I have been pretty vocal on knowing what and when to report child abuse. This morning we are going to talk about learning how to report abuse and when normal isn’t normal.
One of my most emotional cases dealt with a young mother who nearly mastered the art of deception. The case was centered around a toddler who was subject to multiple surgeries and needless test. By the time I entered the picture the mother had started keeping a visual log of photos detailing her abuse. I still remember seeing the enormous stack of photos and having a chill of sudden fear run down my spine.
I’ll never know why she kept so many photos of her son detailing every sick moment. My gut tells me that she was going to use those photos as a reason to assign death at a later date. We are talking about hundreds of photos with nothing but sickness and a detailed walk down torture lane. She knew the right words, she knew the right people, but she got a little too overconfident in the end.
In the end I got my butt chewed off by our lawyers and the judge because I did something most investigators would never do, I went against the hospital by forcing their hand in learning the truth. When I got the case this child was slowly dying, he wasn’t gaining weight, and he was on a pure liquid diet. I had to threaten hospital social workers in order to keep him safe, but by the end of three weeks, I had all medical proof I needed.
His vitals rebounded, he gained well into the 50th percentile and he was now starting to eat by mouth. The child I saw weeks ago couldn’t sit up and he couldn’t wave at me. Now he was now able to walk around the hospital room and give me his toy trucks. We were awarded custody of him, but we couldn’t get the DA to sign off on charges of child abuse due to them not knowing much about the Munchausen Syndrome.
Two things could have saved this kid a lot of pain and heartache. The first thing is having a medical professional call in a case prior to him being nearly 4 or 5. By the time I stepped in, he had already been to quite a few hospitals. All of the doctors said they suspected something was off. They were taking notes, but the mother moved from place to place.
Correspondence is key when you are dealing with someone who suffers from this syndrome. If these hospitals would have linked up a year ago, this child would have been removed a lot sooner. Another provider stated that she felt like they were being forced into performing surgeries by the parent. The parent knew just enough medical terminology to fake symptoms and syndromes.
This child was surrounded by medical personnel but it took years for someone to call in the abuse. Remember you work for the child. If you are an investigator , be diligent. I know the department presses you to close cases due to numbers, but life surpasses any number system. If you feel like something feels wrong, investigate it. Do not close that case until YOU are sure that child is safe.
Lastly, never assume that certain people can’t be abusers. If you saw little Todd walking and eating three months ago and now every time you see him he has a sippy cup in hand, ask why. If you babysit this child and he eats for you, but the mother swears that he can’t eat, ask why. If you still feel like something is off, call CPS. You just might be saving a life.
If Trump were to win in 2020 would the nation be able to support him as our leader? Watching President Trump interact with the Queen and her family this week made me think about how we see our nation as a whole. I would like to think that if he were to win the election fair and square that we would all be able to support him. However, I fear that there will never be a blanket of support due to his stance on certain issues.
So, how does Trump differ on issues like immigration? President George W. Bush was friendly in terms of immigration. According to this article https://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2001/09/20010905-2.html we see that not only was President George W. Bush more open towards immigration, but he saw Mexico as an important ally. President George W. Bush went on to have more meetings with Vicente Fox like the one he had below. They often talked about Mexicans being willing to take on jobs that Americans weren’t willing to take. Perhaps, in some circumstances he was right.
” A Mexican proverb tells us that “Que tiene un buen vecino tiene un buen amigo” — “He who has a good neighbor has a good friend.” Today, both our countries are committed to being good neighbors, and good friends. Friends deal in good faith, and disagree with respect. Friends stick together, in good times and in bad. “
The problems with our attitude in terms of immigration started when America went into a recession. Prior to that, I can’t ever recall having anyone talk negatively about immigration. I think we did what people normally do when they suffer, find a scapegoat. During times of chaos people often blame others for misfortune and sadly, the ones that took on the bulk of the blame came from the southern border. While drugs have been an issue for many years, we started to focus more heavily on those drugs and started playing the blame game in regards to jobs.
By the time Obama came into office we were dealing with millions of Americans out of work and an unknown number of illegal immigrants working in positions that once went to workers who now were standing in line at food banks. Not only were we looking at a shortage of jobs for American workers, but we were also looking at jobs that were pretty much tailored towards people who spoke Spanish which sadly placed American workers out of the running for positions. Obama was popular because of his stance on immigration. https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2013/01/29/remarks-president-comprehensive-immigration-reform
” We have to make sure that every business and every worker in America is playing by the same set of rules. We have to bring this shadow economy into the light so that everybody is held accountable — businesses for who they hire, and immigrants for getting on the right side of the law. That’s common sense. And that’s why we need comprehensive immigration reform. “
Either way you look at it, both Obama and Trump have been trying to fix our immigration issue. The problem is that we are trying to fix a system that has been broken for too long. Immigration is now so bad that is it threatening the infrastructure of the countries like Honduras and Guatemala. We have to find balance for our future as well as theirs.
We live in a nation that offers great promise to those people who are willing to work hard. Ask any self made millionaire or billionaire and they will tell you, nothing short of hard work helped to enhance their lifestyle. My parents grew up working in the potato fields with their parents until they grew of age. They were able to save enough money working in those fields to buy the land we now call home.
I never thought about the meaning of hard work growing up because it was just part of our life. My father would get off of his job and come home and farm the land. It was normal for me to help with picking greens, peas, and even snapping beans because it was our way of living. As an adult, I now understand that my parents were doing what any other hard working person was doing, they were trying to make sure we were able to survive.
As I would grow older, I would start to listen to music aimed at bringing awareness to poverty and different lifestyles. After I got married, I found out for the first time what it felt like to live on a budget. Budgets weren’t fun, but being hungry wasn’t either. I soon learned that college was our only way to securing a better life. We were determined to make it work for our children just as our parents were determined to make it work for us.
In both instances hard work was the only way to make a difference. After my husband got out of the Army, I started working for the shelter system. I was able to see women take as little as 30 percent of their incomes and buy condos for stability. It was enlightening and encouraging to see how people wanted to rise from the ashes of poverty and forge a new future.
While working in investigations I ran into many kinds of people. I ran into those who were trying to make a difference and those who had given up.
I saw apartment complexes full of drugs, prostitution, abuse, and other criminal activity. I witnessed complexes who had seen mass removals of children that once frequented the area. Many of these people lived like they were in third world countries. The apartments were run down, pee soaked the sidewalks and the walls. People could be seen walking from complex to complex with beers in hand, all before noon. These people lived in free housing.
Sometimes, when we give free housing to those who can do better, we help to increase the likelihood of drug usage. I’m not telling you a stat, I am telling you the tale of two complexes. Many of the removals that came out of those areas dealt with families, living in free housing. I once had a manager come out and ask me if we could just bring a bus and round up all the kids! I looked at her and frowned, but after I got inside the area, I understood the reason. The drug problem had gotten so out of control that it had started to roll over into other properties.
We couldn’t even get policemen to come with us in those areas. I once had to enter an apartment with another investigator that was riddled with drugs and weapons. Two hours after I made it home, police officers called and asked if I made it out okay. I know Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez might be telling the world that she wants this wonderful idea of utopia to exist for all people, but the fact is, people need work. I’m sure Ms. Cortez went to college because she wanted to work. I find it a little hypocritical to tell others to be lazy when you know working is the key to a healthy future.
If you want to help people, you tell them how they can rise above their current situation. You give them hope by bringing in new programs to help assist with personal growth. We should be helping our neighborhoods to do better and we should be talking about the need for HIV tents that pop up like flowers. It’s time to get real about helping those who need help, or politely get out of the way of those of us who are trying to help people do better in life.