Tag Archives: Indifference

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines INDIFFERENCE as: lack of interest in or concern about something

THESE DEATHS ARE A RESULT OF THE DEADLY OPEN BORDER POLICIES

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott

46 dead after trailer carrying migrants found in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO, TX  –  Forty-six people were found dead in and near a tractor-trailer and 16 others were taken to hospitals in a presumed migrant smuggling attempt into the United States, officials in San Antonio said.

Except For the 90,000 Immigrant Children Obama-Biden Administration “LOST”

It’s among the deadliest tragedies to have claimed thousands of lives of people attempting to cross the U.S. border from Mexico in recent decades.  Ten migrants died in 2017 after being trapped inside a truck that was parked at a Walmart in San Antonio.  In 2003, 19 migrants were found in a sweltering truck southeast of San Antonio.

South Texas has long been the busiest area for illegal border crossings.  Migrants ride in vehicles though Border Patrol checkpoints to San Antonio, the closest major city, from which point they disperse across the United States.

A city worker at the scene on a remote back road in southwest San Antonio was alerted to the situation by a cry for help shortly before 6 p.m. Monday, Police Chief William McManus said.  Officers arrived to find a body on the ground outside the trailer and a partially opened gate to the trailer, he said.

Hours later, body bags lay spread on the ground near the trailer as a grim symbol of the calamity.  Bodies still remained inside.

Of the 16 taken to hospitals with heat-related illnesses, 12 were adults and four were children, said Fire Chief Charles Hood.  The patients were hot to the touch and dehydrated, and no water was found in the trailer, he said.

“They were suffering from heat stroke and exhaustion,” Hood said.  “It was a refrigerated tractor-trailer, but there was no visible working AC unit on that rig.”

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said the 46 who died had “families who were likely trying to find a better life.”

“This is nothing short of a horrific human tragedy,” Nirenberg said.

Those in the trailer were part of a presumed migrant smuggling attempt into the United States, and the investigation was being led by U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, McManus said.

Three people were taken into custody, but it was unclear if they were absolutely connected with human trafficking, McManus said.

Big rigs emerged as a popular smuggling method in the early 1990s amid a surge in U.S. border enforcement in San Diego and El Paso, Texas, which were then the busiest corridors for illegal crossings.

Before that, people paid small fees to mom-and-pop operators to get them across a largely unguarded border.  As crossing became exponentially more difficult after the 2001 terror attacks in the U.S., migrants were led through more perilous terrain and paid thousands of dollars more.

Heat poses a serious danger, particularly when temperatures can rise severely inside vehicles.  Weather in the San Antonio area was mostly cloudy Monday, but temperatures approached 100 degrees.

Some advocates drew a link to the Biden administration’s border policies.  Aaron Reichlin-Melnick, policy director at the American Immigration Council, wrote that he had been dreading such a tragedy for months.

“With the border shut as tightly as it is today for migrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, people have been pushed into more and more dangerous routes.  Truck smuggling is a way up,” he wrote on Twitter.

Stephen Miller, a chief architect of former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, said, “Human smugglers and traffickers are wicked and evil” and that the administration’s approach to border security rewards their actions.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican running for reelection, was blunt in a tweet about the Democratic president: “These deaths are on Biden.  They are a result of his deadly open border policies.”

Migrants — largely from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — have been expelled more than 2 million times under a pandemic-era rule in effect since March 2020 that denies them a chance to seek asylum but encourages repeat attempts because there are no legal consequences for getting caught.  People from other countries, notably Cuba, Nicaragua and Colombia, are subject to Title 42 authority less frequently due to higher costs of sending them home, strained diplomatic relations and other considerations.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported 557 deaths on the southwest border in the 12-month period ending Sept. 30, more than double the 247 deaths reported in the previous year and the highest since it began keeping track in 1998.  Most are related to heat exposure.

CBP has not published a death tally for this year but said that the Border Patrol performed 14,278 “search-and-rescue missions” in a seven-month period through May, exceeding the 12,833 missions performed during the previous 12-month period and up from 5,071 the year before.

 

‘OPERATION BAD APPLE’ NETS 56 SEXUAL PREDATORS

.jpg photo of Child Predators arrested in Florida
Source: Osceola County Sheriff’s Office

Sexual Predator Sweep In Florida Results In 56 Arrests In ‘Operation Bad Apple’

OSCEOLA COUNTY, FL  –  The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday that dozens of arrests have been made in “Operation Bad Apple.”

One such recent victory was won in Florida, where the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office worked with U.S. Marshals in “Operation Bad Apple” to round up and lock up a massive number of sexual predators, arresting 56 in the sweep.

The Sheriff’s Office said in a press release, “The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the United States Marshals conducted Operation Bad Apple, which took place from March 28, 2022 through June 10, 2022.  The operation had a primary focus, but was not limited to; sexual offenders and sexual predators who have prior state or federal convictions for productions, transmission, and/or possession of child pornography/sexual performance of a child; transmission of harmful material to a minor; or video voyeurism.”

The press release concluded, “Operation Bad Apple resulted in 56 arrests of sexual offenders and predators in reference to violations of their statutory sex offense restrictions and or new law violations.  All arrestees were booked and transported to the Osceola County Jail.”

So, we are thankful their office was able to lock up a number of creeps and deviants, particularly those involved in horrific sexual crimes or activity involving children.

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office is dedicated to serving our community and increasing public safety.  Anyone with information related to similar incidents, please contact the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office at (407) 348-2222.

SOLD FOR DRUGS, WOMAN DOES EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO HELP TRAFFICKING VICTIMS

.jpg photo of Tonya Stafford and the neighbor who helped her break free from abuser.
Tonya Stafford and the neighbor who helped her break free from her abuser.

Her mother sold her for drugs when she was 14. Now, she spends her life rescuing fellow trafficking victims

DALLAS, TX  –  It took Tonya Stafford years to return to Bradshaw Street in southern Dallas.

When she finally did, about eight years ago, she felt afraid.

“It was a lot of emotions that came back,” she said.  “Because I thought of everything that had happened.”

Stafford lived in two separate houses on this street  –  although “lived” is a generous term.

She survived.  That’s a better way to put it.

Located just feet apart, those Bradshaw Street houses are the first and second homes Stafford lived in with the man who purchased her from her mother when she was 14 years old.  They’re the first two homes in which she was held captive, raped and abused for years.

“I was sold from the projects… the Turner Courts Projects,” Stafford said.

She’d been living their with her siblings, her mother and her mother’s husband.  Stafford’s mother had been in an out of their lives, while living with addiction.  She regained custody of Stafford and her siblings when Stafford was eight years old.  Up until then, they’d been living with their grandmother.

“It wasn’t something that was hidden from us,” Stafford said of her mother’s troubles. “Big Momma always just told us to respect her.  If we saw her walking down the street in South Dallas, we respected our mom.”

Stafford said her mother had started to do better when she regained custody, but the man she married was an addict and abusive.

“He immediately started raping us and molesting us,” Stafford said.  “So, that’s how our life took a turn for the worse.”

When Stafford and her siblings told her mother about the abuse, she said her mother’s husband claimed the children were trying to break them up.  She believed him.

Stafford said the family was also homeless for months at a time and bounced from hotel to hotel.

“He would get a room for them and a room for us,” Stafford said.  “Then he would get a room to take us into.”

Even then, Stafford still had hope.

“I wasn’t pregnant,” she said.  “I was an A student.  I was really smart.  My mentality was to make it out and never come back.”

Eventually, her family ended up at the Turner Courts housing project in southern Dallas, where Stafford said she and her siblings were allowed to freely come and go as they pleased, as long as they were home by dark.

She said she remembered she’d hang out with a neighbor, a women in her early 20s who was married and had kids.  Around that time, Stafford also remembered, she started noticing the man who’d become her abuser hanging around the neighborhood.

“I remember seeing him but not really paying attention cause I was playing with [my neighbor’s’] kids,” Stafford said.  “I didn’t know he had already started inquiring about us. Who was I?  ‘Who’s her momma?  What does that look like?’  They told him, ‘Her mom’s on drugs, and they don’t really care about them.’  He found his prey.  I was his prey.”

One night, when she was 13, Stafford said she was at her neighbor’s house, drinking what she thought was soda.  The man was there too.  Once she’d had a bit of what she later realized were wine coolers, she said she didn’t feel good.  She remembered the man telling her she couldn’t go home drunk.

She said he raped her that night.

“I got up,  I put my clothes on,  I went back to our apartment,” Stafford said.  “I didn’t say anything.”

A few weeks later, Stafford started feeling sick  –  and quickly realized she was pregnant.

“My daughter was born in 1988 in Mesquite Community Hospital,” she said.

Stafford was 14.  The father of her new baby was more than 10 years older.

Court documents provided to WFAA showed that Tonya was interviewed by a case worker who was investigating her mother and stepfather for child abuse involving another sibling.  The report detailed that Tonya was pregnant and that the father of her child was substantially older than she was.  The case worker noted that she asked Tonya if her mother had anything to do with what she referred to as her “relationship” with an older man, but never probed into any questions about abuse or the situation being troublesome.

“I knew then that we weren’t going to be saved,” Stafford said.

A few months after her daughter was born, Stafford said she was playing outside with other kids and had come back in to her house for some water when she noticed her belongings and her baby’s things had been packed up and placed by the door.

“She [her mother] said, ‘You got to go,'” Stafford said.  “I asked why: ‘Did I do something wrong?  Did I not clean up good enough?  What did I do?’  She just said again,  ‘You got to go.’  She pointed outside, and I saw his car waiting.  So, I took a deep breath, and I got in the car.”

Stafford said she went to live with with her abuser in his grandmother’s house  –  one of the homes on Bradshaw Street  –  where she was repeatedly raped and beaten.  After a year, she said they moved a few houses down on the same street.  A couple of years later, they moved to Pleasant Grove.

Stafford said she’d continuously tried calling her mother during this time, but never got an answer.  Eventually, she learned that her mother had changed phone numbers.  While she lived on Bradshaw Street, Stafford was just a few blocks from her family and the school she would have attended had she been able to leave the house.

“I really only left to go to church,” Stafford said.

She said her abuser took her to church every Sunday and Wednesday.

“I remember telling someone he was raping me, and they told me not to say that,” Stafford said.  “The first lady told me I should be glad someone bought me.”

Stafford said she lived with her abuser for 10 years.  During that stretch, she gave birth to two more children of his children.  She said no one at any of the hospitals ever questioned their situation.

“I don’t think they wanted to get involved,” Stafford said.

She was 24 when her life changed.  She has her neighbor to thank for that.

“She was the nosey neighbor,” Stafford said.  “She’d seen something.  She said something. And she did something.”

Stafford said her neighbor had noticed abuse in the home, and had spoken to her about it.
“Our cue was, if it gets bad, throw something out the window  –  or just come out and she’ll call the police,” Stafford said.

On the day she was rescued, Stafford said the abuse was particularly bad.

“He was angry,” Stafford said of her abuser.  “He was angry.  He just kept saying, I’m going to kill you.'”

Stafford said she’d gone to the bathroom, flushed the toilet and threw some things out of the window.  She said she tried to climb out of the window, too, but her abuser heard her, kicked down to the door, pulled her back into the house and threw her into the hallway.
“I asked him if I could go put my kids up, and I could come back and he could kill me,” Stafford said. “He said no, and he started choking me unconscious.  And that’s all I remembered.  I woke up.  My neighbor was kneeling next to me, and she was crying.”

Stafford said her neighbor heard the commotion and called the police.  By the time officers arrived, her abuser had run away.  Stafford and her children were taken to a shelter for domestic violence survivors in Irving.

“I got to be safe, and then I started therapy,” Stafford said.  “I love therapy.”

She still goes to therapy every Tuesday.

“It’s the first time I couldn’t lie,” Stafford said.  “I had to be honest about everything.   My kids got therapy too.  I think that’s ultimately what saved me.  I had never just been around a bunch of women.”

These women affirmed Stafford’s beauty, value and purpose.

When she finally was able to take her attacker to court,  Stafford said the judge apologized to her for a healthcare system and an education system that “failed” her.

“Then he said, “And I’m sorry, I have to fail you too,'” Stafford said.  “The statute of limitations had been reached.”

She was able to get a protection order  –  one that’s still in place  –  because of the domestic violence, but her attacker was never charged for the sexual abuse.  In fact, he was granted visitation with her children.

Stafford’s story is a hard one to hear, but it laid the foundation for the life-saving work she does now.

In 2014, Stafford started It’s Going to Be Okay Inc, an organization that helps rescue, house and heal survivors of human trafficking.  She now operates four safe houses for survivors across Dallas-Fort Worth.

“We’re providing direct services to human trafficking victims of all races and colors, but particularly Black girls,” Stafford said.

These are girls, Stafford said, that often go missing without extensive media coverage or resources devoted to finding them.

They’re girls like her.

Her story, Stafford said, is not entirely the same as the cases she deals with now.  But the foundations of trauma and abuse are the same.

“When you’re dealing with past trauma, it effects your post-trauma,” Stafford said.  “It’s how [these girls] are so susceptible to trafficking.  It’s the cycle of trauma, the generational trauma.”

Stafford’s work has been recognized around the country.  She works with local, state and federal law enforcement to help rescue trafficking victims and offer services to help them rebuild their lives.

She was recently recognized by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton for her efforts, and even received an honorary doctorate for her work.

“When I come across girls who look like me  –  the forgotten girls  –  and they say, ‘Ms. Tonya, thank you for coming, and thank you for providing what probably wouldn’t have been provided,’ that is my why,” Stafford said.

So, now, when Stafford finds herself on Bradshaw Street, she sees survival.

“I survived for them,” she said.  “I survived for me.  I survived for my children.  And not only am I surviving, I’m thriving.”

Discovery Of Falsified Reports Alarmed CO State Officials

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Stop CPS Corruption and Anti-Family Agenda.

Moffat County caseworker accused of fabricating child abuse, neglect investigations has been charged with forgery

A Moffat County caseworker accused of fabricating reports to make it seem as if she checked on children who were the subject of abuse and neglect claims is now facing charges of forgery and abuse of public records.

Hester Renee Nelms, 43, was under investigation for more than a year by the district attorney’s office in Moffat County, where a crew of 15 caseworkers from across Colorado set up operations in 2020 to re-investigate more than 80 reports of child abuse and neglect.  Numerous families, including some who spoke to The Colorado Sun, said that no caseworker ever came to check on their children — despite detailed reports in the state’s child welfare database that those visits had occurred.

An arrest warrant in the case, released this week after a request from The Sun, describes how Nelms’ notes regarding several children were made up and inaccurate.  Investigators discovered that in multiple cases, she had never visited homes or interviewed kids and parents, despite writing in detail about the contents of their bedrooms or family members’ jobs and medical conditions.

Investigators found at least 50 cases containing falsified details, including many in which Nelms never made contact with the children or parents.  They included entries into the state child welfare database about people that do not exist, and false documentation regarding the “death of parents, false medical issues, fictitious supports and/or employment,” according to the arrest warrant.

In one 2019 case, Nelms wrote that a mother had cervical cancer and wanted to spend as much time as she could with her four children, including a 5-month-old baby.  Her report described a house fire the family had endured and said the mother was in nursing school. Neither detail was true, nor did the mother ever have cancer, investigators found.  Also, there was no baby in the family.

In another case, Nelms wrote that the mother of the child who was the subject of a sexual abuse report worked as a cook and that her daughter had a boyfriend.  But in reality, the daughter is gay and the mother worked at an auto lube shop, according to the investigator.

No children were found to have been injured or killed because of the shoddy casework, according to records previously released by the state to The Sun under open records laws.

State child welfare officials in 2019 notified Moffat County’s child welfare division that it was behind on meeting requirements for abuse and neglect assessments, which counties are supposed to complete within 60 days.  The county hired a former child protection caseworker to perform an audit, which found that of the 120 abuse and neglect cases that were open, 90% of them were assigned to Nelms, according to the arrest warrant.

Annette Norton, then the head of Moffat County Department of Human Services, allowed Nelms to focus solely on closing the 120 cases.  Yet, after a month, Nelms had finished work on just 13 of the open cases, so Norton fired her, according to court documents.

The caseworker who took on Nelms’ workload soon discovered inaccuracies — and complete untruths — in the reports.  In the first case the new caseworker looked into, in which a little girl’s bedroom decor was described in Nelms’ report, the worker, Markie Green, found that Nelms had never actually been to the child’s home.

“The mother looks at Ms. Green and asked her what contact and by what caseworker,” the investigator wrote. “The mother explained there was no contact and no interview.”
The auditor then pulled more of Nelms’ case files, choosing at random, and she and Green made similar discoveries.  This led to intervention by the state child welfare division, which rounded up 15 caseworkers from various counties to re-examine every case that Nelms worked.  The team discovered a pattern of fraudulent paperwork that stretched over two years.

Nelms did not respond to a request for comment for this story, but in an interview with the investigator, she said she was overwhelmed and overburdened with work in Moffat County and did not receive adequate training.  She quit the job once, but returned at the urging of her boss.  Nelms, who has since moved to the Denver area, said she was “getting further and further behind and the cases were piling up.”  At the time, the department was only 48% staffed.

She did not admit to fabricating documentation, but said she relied on her memory when she entered reports into the statewide database and sometimes mixed up families.  Nelms told the investigator she was working “at an extremely fast pace” and couldn’t “remember a lot of the faces of her clients because of how fast the cases were coming in.”

Nelms was charged with felony forgery and misdemeanor abuse of public records.
The Sun asked the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office about the status of its investigation into Nelms’ caseload eight times over the past year and a half.  The office’s spokeswoman, Leslie Hockaday, recently emailed a news release to The Sun, dated March 22, noting that an arrest warrant had been issued for Nelms on Nov. 29.  She has not been taken into custody.  A judge set a $5,000 personal recognizance bond.

County officials also have been quiet about the investigation that rattled many citizens and child advocates in Craig.  Norton, who abruptly left the county’s human services department at the start of the investigation, previously told The Sun the child welfare scandal was a “personnel matter” and refused to discuss it.

A statewide performance-monitoring system, which scores county child welfare divisions on how well they respond to suspected cases of abuse or neglect and whether they make face-to-face contact with suspected victims within required timeframes, alerted state officials in 2019 that Moffat County was slipping.

Around the same time, Colorado Child Protection Ombudsman Stephanie Villafuerte’s office received three separate reports from citizens in Moffat County who said local caseworkers had failed to check on children.

Woburn Allowed Students To Play Football After Hazing, Assault

Police seek charges against seven students after Woburn locker room incident

Woburn, MA  –  Police are pursuing criminal charges against seven students at Woburn Memorial High School after a freshman football player, 14-year-old Johnathan Coucelos, was allegedly assaulted by a throng of teammates last fall in a locker room and attacked twice afterward in the school, according to the boy’s parents and attorney.

A hearing is scheduled Tuesday in Lowell Juvenile Court before a clerk magistrate to determine whether probable cause exists to issue criminal complaints against the seven students, said the family’s attorney, Peter Hahn.

Johnathan’s parents, Kevin and Jeanny Coucelos, also notified Woburn’s city solicitor that they plan to sue the city and school department for $750,000 for the trauma Johnathan and the family have suffered over his ordeal.

“No one in the school administration has been held to account despite what has happened to Johnathan — no coach and not Principal [Jessica] Callanan,” the parents stated in their letter.

“I want them to get what they deserve,” Kevin Coucelos added in an interview.

City Solicitor Ellen Callahan Doucette declined to comment, other than to say the letter has been sent to Woburn’s insurance carrier.

The Woburn case, first reported by the Globe in December, is among a wave of troubling alleged misconduct in Massachusetts high school sports in the past year, from Duxbury to Danvers and beyond.

Woburn School Superintendent Matt Crowley said he “takes this matter seriously and is treating it with the utmost sincerity and gravity.”

“We acknowledge and support the student and family that had the strength to come forward to report this deeply troubling matter,” Crowley said in a statement.

Crowley said the school district has retained outside counsel, Patrick Hanley and the Butters Brazilian law firm, to conduct a Title IX investigation, which will be followed by “a thorough administrative review and policy analysis” by a second outside firm led by former Massachusetts secretary of public safety and security Daniel Bennett, former State Police colonel Kerry Gilpin, and attorney John Benzan.

“We pledge to be forthcoming regarding the results of those investigations and pledge to enact their findings and recommendations,” Crowley said.

Johnathan, who stopped attending the Woburn school in December out of fear for his safety, plans to enroll soon at the Cambridge Matignon School, where officials have pledged the community will welcome him, his parents said.

The Globe does not identify alleged victims of sexual assault unless they give their consent.

Johnathan and his parents said they appreciated hearing from Woburn police Wednesday and the Middlesex district attorney’s office Thursday that a joint investigation had produced sufficient evidence for the police to seek charges against his alleged assailants.
The family expressed frustration, however, that nearly four months had passed since they reported the incident, while a football player who allegedly groped Johnathan during the locker room episode was permitted to remain on the football team and compete in the program’s first-ever Thanksgiving week game at Fenway Park.  Two other players who face possible charges remained on the team as well.

“It’s outrageous,” Kevin Coucelos said.  “If there was an assault and battery on Main Street, someone would have been arrested on the spot and gone before a judge.  It never should have taken this long.”

Worse, Coucelos said, is that none of the football coaches or the athletic director has been disciplined for their alleged failure to properly supervise the team and monitor the locker room.  Johnathan’s parents particularly blamed athletic director Jim Duran, head football coach Jack Belcher, and assistant coach Chase Andrews.

Johnathan said he immediately reported the locker room incident to Andrews but felt ignored by him.  Hahn said prosecutors declined a request to file charges against Andrews, but that the family has not ruled out pressing charges.

The Woburn police and Middlesex DA’s office declined to comment.

As for Belcher, Hahn said, “There needs to be at least some disciplinary consequence to the head coach because it’s his coaching squad and his team.”

The Globe’s attempts to reach Belcher, Andrews, and Duran were unsuccessful.

The Coucelos family said Callanan, the school principal, failed to protect Johnathan in part by waiting to impose a safety plan on the student who allegedly groped him until they obtained a harassment prevention order against him in juvenile court in December, more than two months after the incident.

Efforts to reach Callanan also were unsuccessful.

If the clerk magistrate finds probable cause Tuesday to issue criminal complaints against the students, they would go before a Juvenile Court judge for arraignment.  Police have applied for criminal complaints of assault and battery against all seven students, and an additional charge of indecent assault and battery for the student who allegedly touched Johnathan’s genitals.

Johnathan said he was attacked in the freshman locker room Sept. 25 as retribution for junior varsity and freshman players being disciplined after he fought a student who repeatedly poked him under the bleachers during a varsity game Sept. 10.  The players had been instructed not to congregate under the bleachers.

A video recording of the locker room incident shows about a dozen players swarming Johnathan, spraying him with water, and throwing water bottles at him.  One player is seen punching him and another is heard shouting, “Take his [stuff],” before one of them rips his Apple watch from his wrist.

Another teammate is seen bending toward Johnathan, who said the player pulled down his pants and grabbed his genitals.

Johnathan said he later was targeted by students who chided him for not fighting back and for “snitching.”  One student who faces a possible assault charge allegedly punched him several times in a school bathroom.

Another student, a former football player, allegedly entered Johnathan’s Spanish class, grabbed him by the shirt, and warned him to stop snitching.

Johnathan’s parents said he was vibrant and outgoing before the attacks.  He has since become isolated, withdrawn, and distrustful, and is now receiving psychiatric care, they said.

Jeanny Coucelos said the experience has made her fearful for the safety of all four of her children.  She has been diagnosed with severe anxiety and panic disorder, she said, and has been unable to resume her job as a day care and pre-kindergarten teacher since December.

Kevin Coucelos, a construction foreman and machine operator, said his job performance also has suffered because of the stress.

Since January, Johnathan has been tutored remotely by a Woburn school teacher.  Now, six months after he proudly joined the Woburn football program, he is preparing for the challenge of starting a new life at Matignon.