I just stumbled across an update on the case of the Nikolayev baby, which was “snatched” from its parents by police officers and placed into CPS custody because the couple wanted a second opinion on a medical procedure. Video footage of the baby being seized from its mother’s arms went viral, and people around the expressed their outrage by what appeared a flagrant display of CPS abuse of power. The young couple was portrayed in the media as loving and attentive parents, deeply concerned with the needs of their sick baby and heartbroken by California CPS’ overreaching their authority by “illegally abducting” their child without so much as a court order.
As a mother, I’d found story especially chilling, particularly the implication that the State has the power to seize one’s child on a whim. Like many, I reacted with anger and disgust towards California CPS, Sacramento police, and the hospital employees who’d “sicced” CPS on the poor family in the first place.
California CPS was almost universally condemned for their actions, ordered to return the infant, and subjected to extensive auditing. At no point did it seem that CPS may have actually been justified in their course of action… until now.
You see, it turns out that there was more to this story than was ever reported in the media. Due to privacy regulations, CPS has never been able to tell their side of the story or explain the rationale behind their decision to seize baby — nor were they able to address the factual distortions and allegations of conspiracy which spread through the press like wildfire.
But this past November, court documents were released which paint a substantially different picture of what really occurred in the case of baby Sammy Nikolayev. It now appears that CPS may have been fully justified in their actions.
Apparently the problem with the “second opinion” from Kaiser was that they either failed to fully understand the severity of this baby’s condition or else they were not made aware of certain facts — like that the baby had not been medicated for a full three weeks. I’m guessing it was a combination of both.
The Kaiser pediatrician who treated little Sammy expressed his full confidence that the five-month-old, eleven-pound, “hydrated-appearing,” baby would “gain weight/become fully hydrated” under the Nikolayevs’ care and instructed them to follow up with a pediatrician. Not a pediatric cardiologist, nor any of the specialists who had been working with the baby — just a regular, garden-variety pediatrician.
More from Reason.com:
So how did the Nikolayevs go from “competent and concerned” with Samuel’s care to being raided and having their baby removed within 24 hours? Court records reveal that the Sutter Memorial social worker, who had originally reported the case to CPS, didn’t trust the work done at Kaiser.
I’d say it’s pretty clear that CPS had some legitimate concerns, and that the baby may very well have been in imminent danger, which would legally justify CPS’s decision to act without a court order. Yet at this point the Reason article takes a surprisingly sharp and questionable turn, citing a letter to the parents from the pediatric cardiologist dated May 9th:
The Reason author believes that because the baby would not have been placed in imminent danger by Mom’s declining the surgery, CPS had no caused to act without a court order. I’d say that’s a pretty foolish conclusion to draw, one which completely disregards all the evidence presented in the first half of the article suggesting the baby was not being properly cared for. Whether or not the surgery was an emergency is in fact irrelevant; Sammy Nikolayev was removed from his parents’ custody due to allegations of severe neglect against his mother, not because the parents refused the operation.
Click here to read the full article from Reason.com
The media outlets which covered the “Poverty Thoughts” essay have avoided addressing this scandal, or else they’re simply making passing mention of it at the end of some long-winded article full of excerpts from the original essay. The truth is, Linda Walther Tirado lied about everything, and what’s more, she’s still collecting money on GoFundMe.com. As of posting this, she has managed to collect $62,138. Utterly despicable.
And just what does she plan on doing with all of the money she’s raised? I imagine she’ll used it to redecorate. She is evidently turning her kids’ room into a forest, “because I own this house and I can.”
Had I been the manager of this establishment and witnessed a woman consuming “drink after drink” while breastfeeding, I would have asked her to leave the restaurant on the grounds that she was upsetting the other customers. (NOT because she was breastfeeding.) Depending upon the circumstances, I may or may not have alerted police. But regardless, what bothers me is the assumption that the server — one Jackie Conners — was fired in retaliation for reporting this woman.
How do we know she wasn’t fired for something completely unrelated? The answer is, we don’t. The fact that Conners may have none a noble deed does not necessarily mean she was a model employee. I’m not saying her claim should be discounted, just that it needs to be verified. This story was reported by a local news source which took the time to question the manager. They couldn’t have tried to verify her story with an ex-coworker? Surely, she could have put reporters in contact with someone who could lend some credibility to her claim. It’s not as if she were fired on the spot; according to the news outlet which originally broke the story, Conners’s employment was not terminated until a number of days later.
(You’d think the media might have learned a thing or two after the Dayna Morales fiasco.)
A woman who was allegedly driving recklessly (i.e. she may or may not have been speeding) lost control of her car and is being charge with two counts of aggravated vehicular homicide over the deaths of a couple of newborns — her own newborns. Oh, and one count (?) of child endangerment. Can I get a “what the fuck?!”
First of all, despite what media outlets such as The Daily Mail are alleging, investigators have not yet determined whether excessive speed was a factor in the accident. Considering that the speed limit for the area was 55 mph and the woman was driving over train tracks when she flipped her car, it’s entirely possible that she may not have even been speeding. (Common sense would tell you to proceed with caution over train tracks.)
Second, in spite of further dishonest statements from both The Daily Mail and sites like NorthwestOhio.com, investigators have not yet said whether the babies were securely fastened into their seats. Daily Mail is claiming that they were, but that the appropriate (newborn) car seats were not being used; Northwest Ohio claims that “officials have confirmed seatbelts had not been secured.” Both publications claim to have received their “special information” from authorities, yet according to multiplelocalnews sources, the babies were in car seats, but police have yet to say whether they were properly restrained and the correct car seats were being used. Ah, the media at its finest. (The fact that there are dead babies involved means this woman will most likely be found as guilty by a jury as she has been by the press.)
It’s not clear why there has only been one child endangerment charge, but a second charge is pending. But regardless of the details — which may seem trivial now, though I guarantee they’ll matter come the time of her trial — the fact remains that this woman was responsible for the deaths of her own babies. Isn’t that enough? It ought to be.
What right does society have to punish her over the deaths of her own babies? After nine months of pregnancy and six weeks top-side, this woman has most likely made a pretty hefty investment of time, effort, money, and emotion into these babies — and now all of it is gone in a flash over somethingshedid. To punish her any further would be both excessive and cruel. To slap this woman with two counts of vehicular homicide (and uno child endangerment) isn’t justice — it’s revenge.
But the core of the issue here is whether or not it is ethical to charge someone with vehicular homicide in the motor vehicle death of an infant. The answer is a flat-out NO. Homicide — vehicular or otherwise — entails the killing of a person. A six-week-old has no more claim to personhood than a human fetus; it fact, it essentially is a human fetus. To charge this woman with homicide over the deaths of either one or both of these babies is tantamount to saying that a person’s life is of equal (or lesser) value to a non-person’s. It’s like saying her rights to life and liberty are worth no more than a chiwawas — less even, because even chiwawas (unlike six-week-old humans) have personalities. It’s evil and it’s insulting. You may as well claim that a fetus is a person and begin criminalizing “fetal homicide,” with penalties as severe as life imprisonment. Oh, wait… *facepalm*
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; we need infanticide laws in this country. But that’s never going to happen so long as abortion is being threatened by ignorance and religiousity — and by those fucking innane feticide laws.