Monday, May 08, 2006

Another kind of soft target

Let me 'splain to you a scenario I encountered recently.

A young man turned in his cousin who had several warrants out for his arrest. Because the young man had a job and a fairly predictable schedule, bounty hunters routinely 'hung around' to see if said cousin would show up. Growing tired of being trailed he finally turned his cousin in when he had shown up at the young man's place of business.

The mom of the cousin (the young man's aunt) became enraged as did the cousin's sister (yet another cousin) and expressed their disgust at the young man in their best Jerry Springer Show vernacular.

The next day a calling card from Child Protective Services (CPS) appears on their door. They had come to inspect the home of the young man who lives with his wife and 1 year old daughter. Apparently an anonymous call to CPS initiated the need for an inspector to look for signs of abuse. They called CPS back and told them to come to the house the next possible day.

During that evening the couple called around to find out who would've done this. After only a little investigation it seems all evidence points back to the Aunt and the Sister Cousin. There was word also that the aunt and the cousin intended to have more people (their friends) call anonymously to CPS.

When CPS did their inspection they found the same things I've found whenever I personally have visited their home. A well-fed, cared for, happy, and loved 1 year old girl. The young man and his wife explained what had transpired over the week and explained that more 'anonymous' tips were likely to come.

The CPS inspector said if more tips came in (whether they were false or not) they would have to follow-up on them and eventually demand that the young man and his wife take a drug test. Hearing this the young man and his wife asked where they could take a drug test that very day to get it cleared up. They had the test taken but the problem was still up-in-the-air because follow-up would be necessary if more reports came in.

"Can't something be done about them making false reports?" The young man asked. The CPS inspector explained that they do not require those who make anonymous reports to be accountable so that people are not discouraged from calling if they suspect abuse.

What will happen to the young man and his wife? Maybe something, maybe nothing. But because they are attempting to comply with the law they have become the soft targets of law enforcement. CPS will return to their home and pile up a big long record on them only because they are cooperating with the law.

Wouldn't it be nice if law enforcement focused on the initiation of force, theft AND fraud?


Esther said...

It seems like kind of a waste for Social services to spend all their time going after false reports. That also sounds like a person is guilty until proven innocent in their eyes. It's against our justice system.

Man, if you prank call 911 you get into big trouble. This just doesn't sound right. If people calling in about child abuse were held accountable, maybe Social services would receive fewer false calls because people would think twice before calling. That's a serious accusation to make against someone and can virtually destroy a person's life.

Tracy said...

This is a tough one though. We have a famous case of a boy in the area named Eli Creekmore. His name is synonymous with the failures of CPS. He was killed eventually by severe child abuse even though CPS had visited the home several times.

Since that time they'd rather not make anyone feel the least bit scared of what may happen if they report someone. I doubt that many people really make false reports to CPS though I'm alarmed that they have no provision setup to deal with it...except to just keep hassling the same people who have obviously long ago proven they're not a threat to a child.

little-cicero said...

Hi Tracy, Just thought I'd tell you that I told a young man who is uninterested in "Political BS" with a hostile view toward the government about the Libertarian Party today, and he seemed very interested. I might have won you a convert. Hopefully it won't cost us in '06, but I'm hoping he'll someday drift toward making his vote count by voting Republican.

Tracy said...

Thanks LC!

Another politically homeless individual has found a home. At least until he finds out that we don't really ever win any elections.

little-cicero said...

Actually, I'm willing to bet that most of the guys who wear black but aren't goths and always complain about school rules and intrusions would be perspective libertarians. If I'm ever brave enough to approach them, I'll try and send them your way.

little-cicero said...

Correction: "prospective"

Tracy said...

They might be libertarians if they also believe in personal responsibility. If they'd rather burn down the school and blame you for it...then they're probably just good ol' fashioned anarchist. God love them.

little-cicero said...

I hope He does, I sure don't.

Robert the Grump said...

So Goths are Libertarians. I knew it!

They always pick the opinion that is opposite of whomever they are speaking to, and now it makes sense.

That's a Libertarian right there!

Don't worry Little Cicero, I was a Republican when I was young. You'll grow out of it. Voting for Reagan cured me for good.

little-cicero said...

I'm hoping that you'll grow out of libertarianism, so we're even. I like to think that you can be cured with an eventual desire to actually sway public policy significantly. Maybe a major libertarian movement is needed first, but I think if all libertarians were to enter the Republican Party (if you can stand the Evangelicals) you would bring it back to being the conservative party once again.

Tracy said...

If anyone should understand liberty, it should be Evangelicals. Once Christians had a proud heritage in this country where they INSISTED on the separation of church and state.

little-cicero said...

Religious influence does not amount to church preference or dominance. A society in which religion has no role and a government which looks only to the moral interpretations of men would scare Jefferson and especially Adams as much as it scares me.

Not to mention the Reverand John Witherspoon.