ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) - A group is calling for a federal court to shut down Child Protective Services after claiming the agency takes children away from parents without due process.
“Stop Child Protective Services from Legally Kidnapping Children” filed a motion Tuesday for a permanent injunction to immediately close CPS, calling the agency’s practices unconstitutional.
Dwight Mitchell, who created the group, is on a crusade to stop what he calls “legal kidnappings.” He says his son was taken unfairly from him for 22 months. Mitchell says these stories may be hard to believe, but they are not uncommon at all.
“Our phones have not stopped ringing and our email inboxes are overflowing,” said Mitchell. “Our association had 250 members we have now grown to 1,265 in less than 30 days.”
Ten-month-old Zayvion has been away from Amanda Weber, his mother, in foster care for just over a week. The ordeal started when Weber took her son to the hospital with a cough. The doctor deemed him stable and notes show the diagnosis was, in fact, a cough. However, the recommendation was that the patient should have stayed. Weber took him home.
“After waiting, I had asked to leave because I wanted to put my kids to bed and I had my three-year-old with me and I asked if there was anything else that had to be done,” said Weber. “They said ‘No, there was no other testing or anything that needed to be done.’”
In a couple of days, police were at her door and took Zayvion to the doctor.
“She checked him out, all his vitals were stable,” she said. “They already had a foster parent in the room, in the room to remove my son before they ever proved … before they ever proved there was an emergency situation.”
Mitchell says he believes it all comes down to money.
“[CPS] can’t even start collecting the money until the child is taken out of the home, put into foster care, then they can start billing a minimum of one social worker a month and one supervisor a month per child,” he said.
Weber says she’s now a part of Mitchell’s crusade. Her first mission is to get her son back, then she’s ready to fight for all the others.
“I need to share my story and if I need to share it a hundred times, a thousand times – I will,” she said.
In regards to CPS workers, the Department of Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper said, “To call their work ‘kidnapping’ is an affront to the extraordinary service they perform for all of us" as they are "working to strengthen the system and address disparities."
Weber was hoping to get her son back Tuesday afternoon, but the judge postponed her case because no county attorney could make it to court.