Digest of Abuses

Almek Manning was living in the United Monarchy of Europe when he was deposited by the Child Rights Police in the bombed-out ruins of London, but he had a dream to reach for the stars. He hoped to escape from London Proper with the help of his squad of fellow detainees, join the Solar Fleet, and jump to the Stars!
The Zochtil
(Almek Manning Book 1)

State of Texas v. King George III

The contest begins, in which the state of Texas attempts to topple King George’s longstanding record of governmental abuses by stripping all 468 children from their parents in an unpopular community.

The Fourth Amendment Goes in the Recycle Bin

1. Legal action should be directed at individuals, based on evidence of specific actions committed by those individuals, rather than being directed against a community.

2. The government actions against the FLDS appear to violate the first amendment guarantee of freedom of religion.

3. The government actions appear to violate the fourth amendment “right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”

Children Seized Using APC, Police, FBI, Rangers, and K9

4. The government actions appear to violate the fourth amendment requirement that search warrants be based “upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

5. A CPS spokesman said it doesn’t matter if the calls that provided the excuse for the raid were genuine.

6. The government actions appear to turn the fifth amendment guarantee that citizens shall not be “deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law” into an empty promise.

Coming Soon to a Neighborhood Near You: Elimination of Fourteenth Amendment Protection

7. We can only hope that the government actions against the FLDS violate the fourteenth amendment guarantee of “equal protection.”

8. Apparently, one of the key reasons for taking all the FLDS children into custody was that the FLDS encourage early sex. Even if that is true, it is at least somewhat hypocritical to pretend that the same does not happen in the mainstream culture.

9. The government actions ignore the benefit of historic precedent.

10. The Texas approach to civil liberties demonstrates that colonial Rhode Island benefited from a more enlightened approach to civil liberties 350 years ago than Texas does today.

The Grinches who Stole Mother’s Day

11. With the FLDS children having been in state custody for over one month, state officials still have not enabled a comprehensive program of parental visits.

12. The fact that several state laws were created specifically to place the FLDS religion in the crosshairs of Texas family law appears to fit with the other indicators that point toward a religious motivation for the government actions.

13. There was a deplorable lack of due diligence taken by government officials before initiating the raid.

The Risks of Foster Care

14. Weighing allegations of sexual abuse by the FLDS community against known problems with the Texas foster care system, it is not clear that removing all the children from their homes and placing them in state protective custody was the lowest risk option for these children.

15. Outside of the other traumas the FLDS children will face in foster care, a large number of the FLDS children are statistically likely to be placed on psychotropic drugs while in foster care.

When CPS is Let Loose in the FLDS China Shop

16. Court testimony indicating that Child Protective Services relied on information from a former FLDS member and from a psychiatrist familiar with the Branch Davidians appears to indicate that CPS knew the conclusions they wanted to reach before moving against the FLDS community.

17. Mental health professionals who helped at the shelters in San Angelo where the FLDS children were initially detained have complained about the way the FLDS were treated.

Doubt about Key CPS Claims Raises Doubt about All CPS Claims

18. At least twenty-six of the “children” CPS took into custody are actually adults.

19. The Bishop’s List, a set of church records that was used in the initial court hearings, has now been released, and it is most shocking for its lack of corroboration of government claims.

20. In the continuation of what appears to be a government trend to air unsubstantiated allegations, DFPS reported as a “cause for concern” that at least 41 of the children had at some point suffered from broken bones.

When FLDS Children are MIA or WIA

21. The children seem to be suffering significant health issues since entering state care. As of 28 April, nine of the children had been hospitalized.

22. Comments made by a CPS spokeswoman the day after the FLDS children aged five and over were separated from their mothers grossly oversimplifies the grieving and recovery process in the wake of the children being separated from their parents.

23. CPS appears to be having a hard time keeping track of all the children. An 11 year-old boy and a 16 month-old boy were reported missing as of 27 April, but “child welfare workers in Texas say they’re not worried.”

Big Tab for Big FLDS Raids

24. The Utah Attorney General, who has experience dealing with polygamist groups, has questioned the approach of Texas authorities.

25. The massive state actions will be expensive to taxpayers.

Sanity of a Court, Insanity of the State of Texas

26. The Texas Court of Appeals, Third District, found that evidence to support the CPS claim that the FLDS community constituted a single household “was not legally or factually sufficient.”

27. After announcing publicly that Dale Barlow was wanted for the rape and physical assault of “Sarah,” Texas officials later dropped charges against him, without even having the decency to state why the charges had been dropped.

28. Although the district judge who presided over the initial custody hearing permitted nursing mothers tostay with children who are twelve months old or younger, she did not grant that same privilege to mothers nursing infants older than twelve months.

Texas Takes the Lead against King George

29. The first search warrant against the FLDS and its associated affidavit appear to be constitutionally weak.

30. The fact that Texas officials performed interviews while executing the initial search warrant that had no relationship whatsoever to the initial search warrant leads to significant questions about the manner in which that warrant was executed.

31. A CPS supervisor’s testimony about her experience while interviewing girls in the FLDS community on 3 April demonstrates an irony too strong to not find disappointing.

FLDS Child Crying Himself to Sleep

32. A three-year old FLDS boy has been “crying himself to sleep every night, according to the attorney representing him.”

Fourteen Year-old FLDS Mom … Not a Mom and Not Pregnant

33. The youngest girl who CPS claims is an underage mother is, indeed, underage but is neither a mother nor even pregnant according to the lawyer representing her.

Issues Raised in Texas Supreme Court Opinions

34. The Texas Supreme Court minority opinion appears to complain about use of the Fifth Amendment.

35. According to the Supreme Court’s majority opinion, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services “took possession of all 468 children at the Ranch without a court order.”

Judge Persists in One Household Approach

36. Even though the appeals court explicitly rejected the CPS interpretation that the YFZ Ranch constitutes a single household, Judge Walther persisted in treating the FLDS in a manner that remained, essentially, a one-household approach.

CPS Subjected FLDS Kids to Outrageous Living Conditions

37. FLDS children and parents had two restrooms to share per 141 people in the early days after the raid.

CPS Living in Fantasyland?

38. CPS turned Warren Jeffs into the new villain who must not be named – or quoted – and whose signature must not be seen.

Texas Governor Not Worried about “Fine Legal Lines”

39. Texas Governor Rick Perry says he is more concerned about the welfare of children than observing “fine legal lines.”

FLDS Kid: “You’re the police, help us. Help me get my mother back.”

40. In addition to the separation of mothers and children being unnecessary, the manner in which the FLDS children were separated from their mothers was inhumane.

Texas Allegedly Knew Barlow Not at Ranch before Raid

41. Texas officials allegedly knew, before entering the YFZ Ranch, that the only person who was suspected of causing harm to one of the FLDS children was not present at the ranch, leaving the officials with no valid constitutional reason to enter the ranch.

CPS Didn’t Allow FLDS Kid with 104 Degree Fever to Be with Mom

42. CPS didn’t allow an FLDS mother to be with her child, even though the child was hospitalized with a 104 degree fever and the child’s doctor had requested the mother’s presence.

Catch and Release Rules Apply When Prey Taken Unconstitutionally

Foster Care Personnel Invade Privacy of FLDS Childbirth

43. Foster care personnel insisted on being in the labor and delivery room while one FLDS “child” (who wasn’t a child) gave birth.

Texas-Sized Double Standard in Dealing with FLDS

44. The State of Texas just can’t make up its mind whether teenage sexual activity is right or wrong.

Initial Service Plans Didn’t Follow CPS Procedure

45. A CPS worker admitted that CPS procedure calls for service plans to be based on evidence, even though that procedure wasn’t followed in dealing with the FLDS.

The Grinches who Stole Mother’s Day

King George 28, State of Texas 13

11. With the FLDS children having been in state custody for over one month, state officials still have not enabled a comprehensive program of parental visits. As mothers across the nation observed Mother’s Day today, we should pause to reflect that 464 FLDS children are currently separated from their mother, their home environment, or both. If the state has the logistical wherewithal to take all the children into custody, it has the obligation to find the logistical wherewithal of enabling a fair program of parental visitation.

Let’s take Sarah Steed’s case as an example. Her six children have been divided among four foster care locations in three cities: San Antonio, Waco, and Waxahachie. Staying at the YFZ Ranch near Eldorado obviously was not an option for this mother, since that would place her at three or more hours drive from all of her children (see mileage table below). She picked what seems the most logical choice for such an emotional decision: San Antonio, where her nursing baby is located. That puts her 180 miles and 245 miles, respectively, from the other cities where her children are located.

12. The fact that several state laws were created specifically to place the FLDS religion in the crosshairs of Texas family law appears to fit with the other indicators that point toward a religious motivation for the government actions. After the FLDS moved to Texas, laws were changed to eliminate the privilege of not being forced to testify against one’s spouse in a polygamy case, to eliminate the presumption that a spouse was innocent when entering a union with a polygamist, to increase the legal age for marriage from 14 to 16, to outlaw marriage to a cousin or a step-parent, and to criminalize officiating at, or being a partner in, a polygamous marriage. A Texas state representative said, “Our laws needed to be updated even if this group hadn’t come to Texas.” He also protested that “we didn’t invite them to come here, but if they’re going to come here, they’ve got to obey Texas law” (especially the ones written after they arrived, one would presume). Although some of these laws were clearly outdated, it also seems clear that the entire collection of laws never would have been passed without the arrival of the FLDS in Texas. In fact, a law professor was paraphrased in a law.com article as saying that he teaches his students about laws enacted in 2005 that were “aimed directly at the FLDS ranch and its members.”

13. There was a deplorable lack of due diligence taken by government officials before initiating the raid. It now appears quite possible that the calls which triggered the raid were placed from Colorado by a person with a history of placing false reports. In a previous false reporting incident involving the alleged caller, Colorado police successfully tracked her down. How difficult would it have been for Texas officials to at least establish that the calls were being made from out-of-state before deciding to call out the cavalry and raid the FLDS community near Eldorado? In the calls to the Texas domestic violence shelter, the caller claimed that she had been treated at a hospital for broken ribs. How difficult would it have been to check local hospital records to see if a young girl wearing a prairie dress had been treated for broken ribs? The caller claimed that the treatment involved wrapping her torso with an ace bandage and being told to “take it easy for a few days.” How hard would it have been to realize that is not a very credible hospital treatment for broken ribs? I understand that chest wraps are no longer recommended for broken ribs, because of the risks they involve. Also, it seems that pain medication, anti-inflammatories, and ice would likely be indicated rather than just rest. But the true giveaway that something isn’t quite right in this story is the advice that the rest should be for “a few days.” It is hard to believe that a story involving a few days of rest for broken ribs – rather than several weeks – wouldn’t set off a few alarm bells in the head of a thinking adult. The caller also claimed that Dale Barlow was her husband. How difficult would it have been to discover that Barlow had not visited Texas since the FLDS community was established there? Where is the evidence that the merits of the case were critically evaluated? It is a bit too ironic that state officials are constantly accusing FLDS members of lacking critical thinking skills.

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