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SHOCKING STORY OF RELIGIOUS, HOME-SCHOOLING PARENTS WHOSE CHILDREN AND CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS HAVE BEEN STRIPPED FROM THEM
by Sharon Rondeau
(Sep. 9, 2012) — [Editor’s Note, Sept. 10, 2012: The Post & Email erroneously reported on September 9 that a total of six children were taken from the Hendersons. The actual number is seven, with the infant being the seventh.] Over the last two days, The Post & Email became aware of an egregious case of government abuse in Los Angeles County, CA, involving the police, child protective services and corrupt judges who have torn six children from their parents, placing them in separate foster homes far away from each other.
The youngest child, a five-week-old infant, has been placed in a foster home with two homosexuals, and the kosher diet the family observes has been disregarded in the foster homes housing the other children. Two of the children have been placed in Spanish-speaking-only homes when they do not speak Spanish.
The family believes in homeschooling and home birthing, and the parents were jailed after filing a lawsuit against the city of Pasadena for violations of their civil and constitutional rights. The mother, Erica Henderson, developed an infection while in custody which went untreated, and the father, Jeffrey, also became ill.
As a result of his incarceration, the father, Jeffrey, lost his job, and the family’s personal possessions and a large sum of money were confiscated, very similar to the case of Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III in Monroe County, TN.
The Department of Family and Children’s Services (DCFS) claims that the children were abused because the parents chose not to have them vaccinated. Several bloggers have covered the case from its beginning in May 2010, when the police used a battering ram to enter the Hendersons’ home after the parents invoked their Fourth Amendment protection against illegal searches and seizures. No search warrant was produced. The officers reportedly forced the children to remove their clothing for signs of physical abuse and beat their father in front of their pregnant mother. No signs of child abuse of the children were found, but they were taken away because the police deemed the parents abusive for refusing to allow them inside their home.
When the parents asked the police for their badge numbers and names, the police refused to provide the information. “In order to come into my home, you need a warrant. That’s the Bill of Rights,” Jeffrey Henderson can be heard saying to a Los Angeles County police officer. In the second audio file, Jeffrey Henderson can be heard telling the officers that he and his wife wished to maintain their right to privacy.
The Los Angeles Board of County Supervisors oversees DCFS, which has a new director, Philip L. Browning. The Board of County Supervisors can be reached at 213- 974-1411, and Browning’s number is 213-351-5602. “Approaching him could be quite effective,” a source told us, as Browning’s hiring followed a scandal with the agency. “The Board of County Supervisors can call for the replacement of the DCFS director, which they did, hence the hiring of Browning,” she said. She added that a letter-writing campaign has been started directed to Browning citing violations of DCFS regulations in the Henderson case. The DCFS case number is CK-57697.
Other sections of the DCFS website have not been updated for four years.
Although all charges were dismissed against Erica and Jeffrey Henderson, the children have not been returned to their parents’ custody.
On August 7, 2012, police officers went to the Hendersons’ home demanding that Erica sign a “Voluntary Case Plan” for the infant. After she refused, the police left, but returned on August 31, when they seized the baby from Erica’s arms and placed him in a foster home.
An individual close to the case told The Post & Email that the Henderson parents lost their home in Pasadena after spending two months in jail after they could not post the required bail. “By the time they got out and all the charges were cleared, they had lost their home, all of their possessions, and Jeffrey had lost his job. They are really destitute as a result of this one false allegation,” the source said. Jeffrey Henderson reportedly has a degree in business and has spent a formidable amount of time studying California law in the defense of his wife and family. If his family can be reunited, Henderson hopes to attend law school one day.
The Post & Email was told that on Friday, August 31, police tore the baby “by force” out of Erica Henderson’s arms while the family was enjoying an unsupervised visit at a friend’s home. Our source said that she believes that that day was chosen because it preceded a three-day weekend. “I am quite sure it was calculated. That gave them three days to get the child vaccinated and whatever they could manage to do within that amount of time. They were required to have a hearing within three court days. So from Friday they had until the following Thursday, September 6. They went to court on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to ask if there was a hearing on the docket and were told there was not. ‘There was no hearing as of noon on Thursday,'” our source quoted an eyewitness who accompanied the Hendersons to court. “They didn’t know what to do. Somehow the Hendersons found out that there actually was an emergency hearing for Thursday afternoon. The court wanted to appoint one of the attorneys working for the children’s court; they’re an extension of DCFS and don’t really represent parents. The Hendersons refused representation and wanted to speak in pro per. They were told that if they would not accept the attorney, they would have to leave the court. They spoke first with Jeffrey and he refused the court-appointed attorney, so he was told to leave. The judge ordered Erica to stay because they thought that they could wear her down. The eyewitness was not allowed into the courtroom. Erica refused the attorney and they told her to leave. While they were waiting outside, the judge and the court-appointed attorney agreed that it was in the best interest of the baby to remain with the homosexual couple, the foster ‘parents.’ They also are the ones who got two-year-0ld Elijah a year ago, who was still breastfeeding when he was separated.”
Our source continued, “They’re not being given kosher diets; they’re never all together; there’s always at least one child missing. They’re doing what they can to break up the siblings. Lesser people might have given up. That bond that mothers have Erica has in spades. She and Jeffrey are determined to get their children back. They’re exploring every legal means. Jeffrey is at the law library every minute that he is not at work. He would like to go to law school when all of this is over,” our source told us.
Jeffrey Henderson was interviewed by Wiley Drake on September 4, 2012.
Our source told us that “DCFS and the courts” have begun to retaliate against Erica by terminating her unsupervised visits with her children. “They just decided last Friday to discontinue those, when they started hearing from people. It also may be in retaliation for she and Jeffrey insisting on representing themselves. They know that things are going to get worse before they get better. They’ll get through whatever the repercussions are, and they want light shed on what’s going on,” our source said.
A “media blitz” was initiated about a week ago, but ABC, CBS and NBC News failed to pick up the story or ask questions.