Request for Grand Jury Investigation of Butte County Child Protective Services
For Immediate Release
Contact: Sabrina Fendrick
NORML Women’s Alliance Requests Grand Jury Investigation Into the Butte County CA Children Services
Butte County, CA- On Friday March 9th, The NORML Women’s Alliance (NWA), along with Butte County residents, put forward a complaint to the Grand Jury of Butte requesting an investigation into the County Children Services Division for the agency’s perceived and widespread misconduct
The findings in the people’s request include numerous testimonials from directly affected persons, submitted herein via the GRAND JURY COMPLAINT FORMS, which relate varied claims of CSD misconduct.
The National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, in their report dated September 6, 2011, confirms Butte County leads all of California’s large counties in the percentage rate of permanent removal of children from parents. Previously, the Grand Jury undertook a limited “narrow” investigation of the Children Services Division which did not sufficiently address all aspects of CSD conduct, nor addressed the narrow criteria of “front end” issues in a thorough, transparent manner conducive to meaningful, unbiased investigation and findings.
The NORML Women’s Alliance of Butte County, and NORML attorneys have put forth recommendations that they believe are in the best interest of Butte County children including a broad based investigation and a financial audit.
The NWA Community Leader of Butte County, Tamara Lujan, issued the following statement, “We thank the Grand Jury for its time, consideration and diligence in pursing our request. Only when government agencies have proper oversight can we as a community rest assured that corruption, abuse and other misdeeds are kept in check and deterred. Together We the People of Butte County and the Grand Jury can make these necessary strides of investigation and oversight to ensure all Butte families are truly served well, and are safe and secure at home.”
On September 7, 2011, three weeks before the BINTF and CPS burst into their home and stole their children, two deputies from Butte County Sheriff’s Office trespassed onto a clearly marked private road.
This came after Bram and Walsh had witnessed sheriff’s helicopters fly over their area all summer.
The deputies made their way around a locked and gated driveway and then onto the property of Bram and Walsh’s remote home located somewhere on a mountain in Concow, California.
The deputies claimed they were there for a so-called “compliance check” – which is a nice way to make an end run around probable cause and the entire Fourth Amendment in order to illegally “access to private homes to investigate legal medicinal cannabis gardens for potential arrest and prosecution,” according to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Legislation (NORML).
During this “compliance check” one of the deputies assured Walsh that “everything looks okay” and wished him luck with his baby since all of the necessary and appropriate medical records were in order.
Now Bram and Walsh are facing a whopping eight class A felonies, six of which deal with cannabis and two of which relate to alleged child abuse.
While Walsh represented himself and his wife during a preliminary hearing, they are now being represented by Michael Levinsohn and Jen Reeder.
Both charges related to child abuse were dropped, along with one of the charges dealing with cannabis.
This leaves the couple facing five criminal charges in relation to cannabis, although on March 13, Butte County Assistant District Attorney Jeff Greeson re-filed the felony child abuse and misdemeanor child endangerment charges against Bram.
“Considering the felony and misdemeanor charges were dropped, and are now being re-filed after public outcry and the filing for a Grand Jury Investigation, we can come to no other conclusion except this is a retaliatory measure, from the Butte County DA’s office,” Tamara Lujan, NORML Women’s Alliance Community Leader for Butte County, said ina statement .
At no point has there been an attempt by the prosecutors to verify the validity of the couple’s status as qualified medical marijuana patients in the state of California.
Walsh and Bram both have recommendations for medical marijuana from a doctor which are legally recognized in the state of California.
With the federal government continuing to wage a war against medical cannabis and trample all over state’s rights in the process, some individuals at the state level have begun to succumb to the pressure.
This is seen in the case of dispensaries in Los Angeles (which are completely legal under state law, but not federal law), as well as in the case of the University of California, San Francisco kicking out an unimaginably sick patient for using her desperately needed medication, which just happens to be medical marijuana.
After the suffering of Bram, Walsh and their children emerged, other local residents have come forward with their own complaints which are quite similar to those of Bram and Walsh.
These complaints also focus on the BINTF and the Child Services Division of Butte County, which currently leads in the percentage rate of permanent removal of children from parents throughout all California counties.
In response to this trend, the NORML Women’s Alliance (NWA) filed an official request calling for an investigation, including a financial audit, by the Grand Jury in Butte County.
On March 9, the NWA and Butte County residents issued a complaint to the Grand Jury of Butte County requesting that they investigate the County Children Services Division for alleged widespread misconduct and malfeasance.
In the request, which was detailed in a recent press release they cited multiple testimonials directly from people who had been affected by the agency’s actions, as well as various detailed account of the Child Services Division’s questionable activities.
“We thank the Grand Jury for its time, consideration and diligence in pursing our request. Only when government agencies have proper oversight can we as a community rest assured that corruption, abuse and other misdeeds are kept in check and deterred,” Lujan said.
“Together We the People of Butte County and the Grand Jury can make these necessary strides of investigation and oversight to ensure all Butte families are truly served well, and are safe and secure at home,” Lujan added.
Hopefully the Grand Jury will actually do their job and hold these agencies to account while actually serving the people of Butte County.
Unfortunately, in some cases when individuals actually try to do their job – like New York City Police Department Officer Adrian Schoolcraft – they are targeted for harassment and abuse.
INS LINKIf this popular movement in Butte County is successful, I will consider it a major victory (even though it is a relatively small-scale one) and hopefully it will encourage people to become more active at the local level in order to bring more transparency and accountability to government.
Acting at the local level can also be much more effective in pushing back against the increasingly tyrannical federal government, so I will continue to follow the case of Bram and Walsh closely and keep my readers updated.
Please do whatever you can to support their battle and if you happen to be a resident of Butte County, I encourage you to get directly involved in any way possible, even if it is just signing your name to a petition.
If you know of similar battles in your local area, please contact me so I can bring your struggle to a wider national and international audience and hopefully strengthen your cause.
If you would like to inform me of such a situation, submit an original story of your own or correct a mistake of mine, please email me at Admin@EndtheLie.com