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IPFS News Link • Child Protective Services

Child Welfare Officials Have Searched Her Home and Her Son Dozens of Times...

• https://www.propublica.org, by Eli Hager

Despite no evidence a mother mistreated her child, New York City's Administration for Children's Services continues to enter her home without a warrant. She has filed a lawsuit, citing ProPublica's reporting, arguing her rights are being violated.

It was 5:30 a.m. Flashlights beamed in through the windows of the ground-floor apartment in East Flatbush, Brooklyn. Police officers and child welfare caseworkers were ordering a woman to open her front door.

When she did, the first thing she saw was that the police had their guns drawn. Her hands flew up into the "don't shoot" position; she was well aware of the recent stories of cops "shooting first and asking later." She prayed that her 7-year-old son was still asleep in his room.

"I was beyond scared. I literally started shaking," said L.B., the mom, who is Black and asked to be referred to by her initials for her child's safety and privacy.

Enabled by the police officers' show of force, the caseworkers from the Administration for Children's Services, New York City's child welfare agency, entered L.B.'s apartment without a warrant that day in January 2021. Before she knew it, they were scrutinizing the contents of her refrigerator and cabinets, examining her bed and bathroom, and rifling through her personal belongings. They also had her lift up her son's shirt so they could inspect his torso.

They found nothing. The boy was safe and unharmed, living in a clean, well-organized home with his mom and his adult sister, according to case records.

The allegations against L.B., made by an anonymous caller at 4:45 a.m. that day, were false. These included that she was a stripper (she worked at a home for people with disabilities); that she used drugs (none were found, and a drug test was negative for all substances); and that an abusive man lived with her and that she owned "machine guns" (after an exhaustive search and interrogation, both claims were deemed baseless).


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