Source: Free Thought Project
A disturbing pattern is emerging out of Alabama that highlights the budding field of authoritarianism as the state ramps up its kidnapping of babies and arresting of mothers — for no reason.
In August of 2014, Casey Shehi gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. Despite being born four weeks premature, little James was exceptionally strong. However, the celebration of James’ birth was quickly turned into a nightmare when the state got involved.
A few weeks after giving birth to a healthy baby boy, Etowah County sheriffs dragged Ms. Shehi away in handcuffs from her job at a nursing home, charging her with “knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally” exposing her baby to controlled substances in the womb.
The reason? She took half of a Valium a few weeks before the baby was born, during a particularly bad night in a difficult pregnancy. A drug screen at Gadsden Regional Medical Center showed the presence of benzodiazepines. It should be noted that occasional, small doses of Valium are considered safe during pregnancy.
Even though the baby showed no “controlled substances” in his system after birth, and the state’s child welfare agency had concluded they should not take the baby, ruthless cops determined that Ms. Shehi should have her life turned upside down.
She managed to get her baby back, but another judge used the arrest to grant her allegedly abusive ex-husband sole custody of their preschool-age child.
Many states abuse the notion of child endangerment, but Alabama’s 2006 law is being interpreted in draconian fashion by some counties.
Ms. Shehi was victimized in Etowah County and faced public humiliation in addition to legal fees and wrangling with authorities. Her mug shot was printed in the weekly tabloid “Just Busted,” and old acquaintances began avoiding her.