“THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE”
by Sharon Rondeau
Downing presides at the Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Court in Monterey Park, CA.
The publication of our first article on September 16 prompted several responses with links to “unpublished” court opinions in an apparent effort to discredit The Post & Email and/or Roosevelt and Kanika Williams’s account of events leading to the placement of their children with Kanika’s parents, Willie and Katie Grant.
Roosevelt and Kanika officially live in Monroeville, AL but have been traveling back and forth to Southern California at their own expense for the hearings concerning their children. Roosevelt’s extended family also resides in Monroeville.
The Grants were awarded “de facto parent” status approximately six weeks after the case with the eldest child was opened, as The Post & Email reported on October 5.
The Post & Email takes no position as to the character of any private citizen involved in the case; our focus is whether or not participating government agents have failed to follow proper protocols, policies and California state law during the course of DCFS and court involvement in the children’s living arrangements.
The function of the media is to determine whether or not the government is honest in its dealings with the citizens it is expected to serve. If it is found that the government has not been honest, it is the media’s duty to publicly expose the corruption rather than allow it to fester and further restrict the individual liberties outlined in our founding documents.
Unfortunately, most in the mainstream media have abrogated their solemn responsibility to the people in favor of pro-government positions; obfuscation and minimization of political corruption; coverage of Hollywood entertainers, pop culture and tasteless adult topics; sensationalism, and editorializing.
Following the publication of The Post & Email’s initial article on the Williams case, we received the following comment (IP number and email address have been redacted). Click twice to enlarge the image.
The Post & Email then responded publicly to the comment:
Although addressed, the article garnered another similar comment, possibly from the same person:
The interview we had planned to publish responding the court’s two unpublished opinions on the case was pushed back because of an email sent to us at the same time from the children’s father, Roosevelt Williams, which raised the question as to why “adoption” was mentioned early on in the case of his eldest child, a son.
The email was presented in our second article on the case.
Given that question, we contacted the social worker who generated the November 10, 2011 email just six weeks after the case involving the Williamses’ son was opened. While not denying that he had sent the email, Tim Reeff of the “Family First Project” referred us to DCFS Public Affairs and suggested we request information from the court by using a specific form.
Because of the time difference between the East and West Coasts, The Post & Email was able to reach Armand Montiel, Public Affairs Director, that evening for an interview, during which Montiel confirmed that the prospect of adoption for a child whose case was only six weeks old is very rare and initiated only under “narrow conditions” where parents have tragically injured or killed a child.
The interview was recorded with Montiel’s permission. Montiel said he had been about to leave but remained in the office to take the call, having recognized our name from previous contacts about policies as they might relate to the Henderson family, whose case we had covered between 2012 and 2014.
On Wednesday, The Post & Email published a third article which observed that in both the Williams case and that of the Hendersons, the same judge recommended that the parents separate in order to have a chance at regaining custody of one or more of the children.
Jeffrey Henderson had told The Post & Email that Judge Marguerite Downing disfavors fathers, regardless of whether or not they are good parents, and Roosevelt Williams said that while he should have obtained custody of his children if his wife, Kanika, could not, he believes that adoption by Kanika’s parents was a foregone conclusion.
Kanika told The Post & Email that Roosevelt’s mother should have been considered for placement of the children if the court for some reason did not return them to their biological parents.
The third article garnered the following repetitious comment from “Sabrina Pitts”:
“Pitts” also commented in response to Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III’s account of his testimony in Shelby County, TN on August 16:
A second comment in response to the third article made some serious allegations:
about which we contacted Roosevelt and Kanika Williams separately and directly.
Early on Friday morning, the following response was received from Roosevelt. The Post & Email has truncated it for brevity and removed the children’s names but made no other changes.
It is clear to me that Willie and Katie Grant have misled their family to believe these lies posted because who wouldn’t wonder where their Daughter is and why she isn’t attending Birthdays,holidays and school functions. My wife and I were well aware they were lying but weren’t sure what lie they were telling until now. Kanika is their only child and this is the most they think of her. It is shameful, disgraceful and illegal, since they have involved DCFS and Children Court to use the Law to steal our children. The truth is Sharon, which Kanika told you and DCFS, is she smoked once while pregnant with our daughter XXXXX in 2012, over 4 years ago. She had a medical marijuana card under a licensed physician. She smoke once to my understanding doing the pregnancy and it was at the end of her pregnancy when her Aunt and cousin died within weeks of each other and labor and delivery of XXXXX. DCFS social worker, Paula Lee and Katie Grant had already had discussion and plan of taking XXXXX from my wife and used the one time to blow everything out of proportion and justify their wrongs. Kanika was forthcoming to the social worker and they Court Ordered her to drug testing. She drug tested two days after XXXXX was born all the way up to Judge Downing having the case, so overall a span of over 3 years and approximately over 30 random tests and never came up dirty nor did she miss one. My wife acknowledged that she used poor judgment in smoking weed to the Court that one time and took over 30 random tests. My wife also had a birth plan that she gave to the doctor and later to DCFS that was not adhered to. I have a copy of the birth plan if you would like it, which stated in pertinent part to not like and pride XXXX, and respect my wife religious beliefs, which at the time was newly converted Orthodox Christian. Obviously, neither was respected, we been fighting for our daughter for over 4 years, of which she has been denied her Mother milk, love, care and companionship. Additionally, my wife was labeled the black sheep and me for being with her, have also been denied which shows the level of discrimination since I never smoked or drank ever and she was denied being with her father as well.
I have never agreed with smoking or drugs ever, but to punish my wife and daughter in this way, is deplorable. Kanika has NEVER been in drug rehab and never smoked anything other than weed. The grandparents look up article to see the side effects of marijuan and ask that she be assessed to for the elements they found. To my understanding the Doctor notes stated my daughter was healthy at birth 8pounds 10 ounces, she was the biggest of all 7 of my children. Once Willie and Katie got XXXXX, they had a helmet put on her for cosmetic reasons because they did not like the way her head was shaped without our knowledge or consent, they had a brace put on her hips without or knowledge or consent, they had her put in therapies as if she was slow learning without our knowledge or consent, all to build a case on us to tarnish our character, reputation, and rights to XXXXX. Even with all they said about my wife, they never let me into any part of her life and I have NEVER touched a drug or alcohol in my entire life. Willie and Katie Grant, DCFS and the children court, petition for the grandparents to have caretaker/defacto parent status when they had no right to that status. That status permitted the grandparents to be in court and have certain rights that are afforded to the parents. Willie Grant being a Attorney knew that and used that and his personal relationships with Judges and Attorneys to his advantage. It is shameful to those with common sense what they have done and are doing to their own blood, but not to this family member who has probably had some doing about these continuous lies being told over the past 5 years. We are here to set the Record straight.
Our children are the victims and survivors of Ignorance and Extreme abuse of Power. We are our children advocate, parents and we Love them.
In and out of Rehab is so not true My Wife never been to rehab in her life. Even if this were true, why would the grandparents want to adopt their grandchildren instead of help their Daughter to reunite with her children? How is this alleged family member and grandparents even relevant to whether or not we have a right to our kids? This person sounds like a sick human being that does not know the facts and is trying to assainate our character. We are not drug addicts, we are not abusive parents, we are not abusive to as children other, we are XXXXX, XXXXXX and XXXXX biological parents. No one else in this World can boast that. We are proud to be their parents. We are not perfect and never claimed to be, but we are Right, truthful and going forward with exposing people like the Grants and Judge Downing who do and have done so much damage to the family structure.
Roosevelt also supplied a letter from Dr. Roger Davis, a counselor who he saw as a result of a court order, claiming that a social worker involved in the case committed “perjury.”
In the same email, Roosevelt provided the phone numbers of each of his grown daughters and his ex-wife as character witnesses. As all of the children are over the age of 18, no child support is required by law.
When The Post & Email reached out to the first daughter on Friday afternoon, her grandmother, who is Roosevelt’s mother, answered the telephone and was happy to speak to us.
After we presented some of the accusations in the email from “Relative,” Roosevelt’s mother, Edna Lee Kidd, told us:
None of our people ever had anything like that on them. My son is not a child abuser. I have pictures, I have videos; my children love their children. His ex-wife will tell you the same thing, so please call her and tell her what you say. They lie; my son is a good man. I’m not saying that just because he’s my son. My son loves his children; my son takes care of his children.
Even when they got his divorce, my son took the children to games and did all kinds of things.
I know we live at some distance, but you can ask anybody in Monroeville. And another thing: when people go to court, how is it that they consider things on hearsay? I just don’t understand that. People can lie. You can’t do that kind of stuff.
They’re my own grandchildren. I’ll tell you: they lied on my son. He’s never had anything to do with child abuse. I do know one thing: my child is a good father.
The Hendersons had also said that anonymous, hearsay reports were considered by DCFS and protracted their separation from the children. Although the reports proved to be false, the proceedings reportedly impacted negatively the reunification services which had been provided and were subsequently terminated.
Mrs. Kidd was obviously very upset about the current situation regarding her son’s three children with Kanika. She said that she used to call the children at the Grants’s home but no longer attempts to do so for a specific reason.
We then spoke with Roosevelt’s ex-wife, Joyce McPherson-Williams, who said, “We started dating in junior high school and were together until I was 27. We divorced when the children were 12, 10 and 8.”
Regarding child support, McPherson-Williams told us, “We had an agreement between us in our divorce that he would give me ‘X’ amount of dollars that would go toward the maintenance of the kids. I’d say about 2 or3 years after we divorced, I sued him for child support.”
“Did he stop paying?” The Post & Email asked. “Actually, I wanted more money, because the amount that was agreed upon covered their membership to the ‘Y’ and extracurricular activities, but as my daughters got older, I realized that it was going to take a lot more than the amount we had agreed upon, so I just sued him for child support. It was nothing personal, but it was in the best interest of my girls.”
She indicated that Roosevelt paid the increased amount.
“Did you ever find him to be abusive?” we asked, referring to “Relative’s” comment.
“Of the kids?” McPherson-Williams asked incredulously. “Let me clarify something: Roosevelt and I divorced because of personal issues; we just could not see eye-to-eye. When we got together, we were kids, so as time went on, we grew apart. The reason we divorced has nothing to do with him being abusive. There’s nothing that I can actually say as far as him not being a good father. When I say that he loves his kids, he loves his kids.”
The only child he had with Kanika that I saw him interact with was XXXXX, because he lived there for a while, and he’s an excellent father. He was an excellent father to our children, and I have no reason to believe that he is not the same way with his and Kanika’s kids.
I’ve met Kanika; she lived here in Alabama for a while after she met Roosevelt, and then they moved back to California.
She then said:
This is how I feel, and I know it’s probably not normal. First of all, I take personal offense that my daughters cannot have a relationship with their two sisters and their brother. Being that those kids are my kids’ sisters and brother, I love them also. I have so much love for them because in essence, they are part of my kids. They’re siblings, and I think it deprives my kids of being able to have a relationship with them, and it’s going to hurt the kids in the long run. It’s not fair to me or anyone.
I’ve been Roosevelt firsthand stressed, lose sleep and develop high blood pressure because of the issues they’re going through because of his children. As a parent, I cannot imagine someone taking my kids from me. I have a lot of sympathy for him, and it’s not right.
Roosevelt and I had our personal differences, but as far as him being abusive toward his kids, you cannot make me believe that. And Kanika? From being around her, you cannot make me believe that. You can’t make me believe that they were abusive.
Kanika had some issues; I think it was from pressure her mom and dad put on her.
What we want is the truth, and “the truth will set you free.”
McPherson-Williams is an administrative assistant for the 35th Judicial Circuit Task Force in Monroeville, AL. She said that she sometimes “goes out in the field” and deals directly with people affected by drug use. “I’ve been employed with the Drug Task Force for almost 20 years; February will be 20 years. I’ve seen it all. When Kanika had issues, it was more of an emotional thing; it had nothing to do with drugs from my experience. There’s a difference between drug-related actions and emotional and mental-related actions, and I think hers were more emotional and personal with her mom and dad,” she told us, adding, “As long as I’ve known Roosevelt, I’ve never known him to take a drink of alcohol. He’s never smoked, and he’s never even taken a drink of alcohol. That’s not something that he does.”
Kanika Williams’s response to “Relative” is as follows:
With regard to this Hator/Troller, that claims I have been in rehab with two of my children on drugs, that our third child that was taken, XXXXX had no drugs in her system and there is evidence of that since I was forced to drug test my entire pregnancy, she was born 8lbs 3oz, and likely would have been bigger if I wasn’t induced. She was in our care and Custody for 9 months, then taken from us. DCFS did a MAT Assessment of her and found she was completely healthy, yet she has been away from her family for two years. Also at the time of her taking, I was doing unmonitored overnight visits with both XXXXX and XXXXX. When they took XXXX, I was recover Ordered to do drug testing, batter woman program, individual counseling and monitored visits for 4 hours a week. With that being said, that contradicts their whole theory of two drug babies, when in fact, there wasn’t even one. Doing weed once doesn’t make you a addict, it makes you a person who self medicated and I had a license to do so, granted, it wasn’t the best time, but I know for a fact their intention was to take XXXXX and XXXXX and even my youngest daughter by the fact they still have my kids in this mess and so many more reasons. I told them, I would give up my parental rights to XXXXX if they would give her to her father. We weren’t married at the time, I said I would keep my distance and to just please let her dad have her and XXXXX, not because I didn’t want my kids, but because I know the danger they in being with my parents, the Court wouldn’t accept that. Roosevelt had no drugs, no nothing, is on her birth certificate and they still won’t let him or me have our kids. So how is this anything but vengeance? How is this not a waste of the state resources? There kids that are really in a bad situation and they can’t get the help they need because they so focused on targeting our family.
I am saying a lot of this here so I don’t forget anything, it been so much, for so long, and based on this alleged family member comments, it continues. This family member never asked the right questions because they didn’t really want the Truth. My family knows i would never and will never abandon my kids nor will I ever stop fighting for them. If I was so horrible to XXXXX, then how do you explain them taking XXXXX? It makes no sense.
I have all the stubs of the drug tests I took, all the certificate of completion, I never was in rehab so I don’t have anything like that, but even if I was, these are my kids.
I tell you this Sharon, this world is so fallen, so full of misjudgement , prejudice and lies. In these classes I was ordered to take, I met men and women who were addicted to heroin , crack, meth and yet they had enough sense to enroll in parenting or whatever a Judge Ordered to get their kid back. That taught me no matter what these people did to themselves, they loved their kids and wanted to be with them. Most were on drugs because they couldn’t handle being without their kids along with whatever else life was throwing at them. To me, the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. If these people and I are so bad, then we served our time, and in a manner no different than a prisoner and we deserve to get on with our lives. I have done all I can to not have my and my children name in the system. I have known since a teenager, once you in, it is damn near impossible to get out.
The Post & Email will be presenting Kanika and Roosevelt’s refutations of the unpublished court opinions issued in August as it continues its coverage of the case, a process which is under way.
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