A month ago, a couple was pulled over in Tennessee due to a dark tint on their windows and staying in the left lane without needing to pass other vehicles. The man was charged for possessing 5 grams of marijuana, and the woman was cited and released. Afterwards, the Department of Children’s Service took their five children away from them. Their ages are 7, 5, 3, 2, and a four-month-old who is still breastfeeding.
Now, questions are being raised as to why children are being taken away for one misdemeanor charge. The Tennessee Democratic Caucus demanded that the DCS release the children back to their parents, claiming that it’s an “overuse of power”.
“Give them their children back. It’s borderline discrimination, because if this was any other family, as their attorney said, we don’t even think this would be the outcome,” said State Senator London Lamar.
A request for the body and dash-cam videos has been denied by the Tennessee Highway Patrol because they are “part of an ongoing criminal investigation and prosecution”.
A hair follicle test used on the parents is the main evidence used in order for the DCS to keep the children in their custody. However, a court administrator has said that these tests are inadmissible in court.
Tennessee is one of the few states without a medical marijuana market.
This case is ongoing and being covered extensively by Tennessee Lookout.
Bianca Clayborne and Deonte Williams were on I-24 heading to a funeral — kids asleep in the back — when a Tenn. Highway Patrol officer pulled them over for “dark tint and traveling in the left lane while not actively passing.”
Reporting by @anitawadhwanihttps://t.co/Cj2y2wNBBP
— Tennessee Senate Democrats (@TNSenateDems) March 16, 2023