The girl was with her mother, 27-year-old Latonya Bass, when she was arrested for stealing $500 worth of items, and stashing them in the child’s stroller.
The child was reportedly in the cell for a half-hour before being picked up by her father. However, this short amount of time was enough to traumatize the child, and her parents are now saying that she is afraid of police.
The mother is certainly not innocent in this matter, she put her daughter into danger by getting her involved in a potential police encounter, and she was taking property that does not belong to her. Still, when the police take someone into custody and there is a small child in their care, that child becomes their responsibility, and it is totally inhumane to put a child in a jail cell.
The police claim that they did the right thing by allowing the child to stay with her mother while she was being processed, but there were a number of other options that the police could have chosen that would have been far more ethical. For example, police could have gotten into contact with a family member and dropped the child off directly with that family member. They could have even waited the extra 30 minutes that it took her husband to arrive before placing them in the holding cell.
Unfortunately, this situation highlights an unspoken problem in the US legal system, and shows that there is not even any sort of procedure in place to ensure that children are not put into a unhealthy situation as a result of their parent’s arrest. The Strongsville Police Department has said that they will be reviewing their policies to determine what to do if someone is arrested with a child.
John Vibes is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war. In addition to his writing and activist work he is also the owner of a successful music promotion company. In 2013, he became one of the organizers of the Free Your Mind Conference, which features top caliber speakers and whistle-blowers from all over the world. You can contact him and stay connected to his work at his Facebook page. You can find his 65 chapter Book entitled “Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance” at bookpatch.com.