Georgia Couple loses custody of 5 kids after police find a gun and marijuana during traffic stop
A couple from Georgia was temporarily stripped of their parental rights over their five children after being arrested for a misdemeanor during a road trip.
Bianca Clayborne and Deonte Williams were traveling from Georgia to Chicago to attend a funeral on February 17 when they were pulled over by the Tennessee Highway Patrol on Interstate 24. The reason for the traffic stop was due to allegedly having dark-tinted windows and using the left lane without actively passing.
During the traffic stop, the officer reportedly asked Williams to step out of the car and questioned him for 30 minutes, alleging that there was a strong smell of marijuana in the vehicle. The officer then searched the car and found a small amount of cannabis, leading to the arrest of both Clayborne and Williams on charges of possession of marijuana and obstruction of a police officer.
The couple spent the night in jail and were released the following day. However, the state of Tennessee temporarily removed custody of their five children, who were aged between 13 years and 10 months, and placed them with Child Protective Services. Clayborne and Williams were allowed to travel back to Georgia but were required to have a hearing to determine whether they would regain custody of their children.
The couple’s lawyers have since argued that the children should not have been taken away from their parents and that the state overreached its authority in doing so. A judge eventually ruled in favor of the couple and reunited them with their children.
This case is not the first of its kind, and it raises questions about whether minor charges like misdemeanors should warrant the removal of children from their parents. While law enforcement officers are tasked with upholding the law, it is crucial to consider the lasting impact their decisions can have on families. In this case, the temporary separation of Clayborne and Williams from their children could have created unnecessary trauma and stress for the family.
Overall, the case highlights the need for strong safeguards in place to protect the rights of parents and children during legal proceedings, particularly when it comes to minor or non-violent offenses.