Skip to comments.Teaching Kids to Mistrust Government Makes Couple ‘Unsuitable’ Parents
Posted on 04/07/2010 10:37:35 AM PDT by Lorianne
Texans, beware: If you teach your kids that the government is out to harm them, police in Williamson County might just deem you an unsuitable parent.
That startling claim, leveled by officers in Child Protective Services documents detailing an investigation into an Austin-area activist couple, should be enough to give reason for pause to any staunch conservative in the state.
The allegation was made against drug reform activist filmmakers Barry and Candi Cooper, whose home was recently raided and searched after the Williamson County Sheriffs Department claimed Barrys voice was heard in the background audio of an allegedly false police report.
Once in the couples home, officers discovered a small amount of marijuana and charged the Coopers with Class B misdemeanors, resulting in both their arrests. Each immediately bonded out of jail and paid a small fine. Days later, while Candis youngest son was visiting his father in east Texas, Child Protective Services contacted the Coopers, revealing that the incident could cost them not only custody of the boy, but also their freedom on felony child endangerment charges.
After CPS interviewed the couple, Travis County Deputy District Attorney Dayna Blazey pronounced both Coopers to be fit parents, whose children are healthy, happy and well cared for.
[There] is nothing to indicate that the kids are at risk, she wrote.
A message requesting the deputy DAs comment on this story went unanswered at time of publication.
Her conclusion, which falls at the end of documents published below, is almost odd following the numerous pages of text entered by police, who seemingly describe an alternate reality.
Among their claims that Barry and Candi regularly give illicit drugs to their children, that they allow and encourage other kids to use drugs in their home, that theyve mentally abused their children by telling them that marijuana is good and anti-drug efforts are riddled with lies the most extreme is that the Coopers are unsuitable parents because they create an environment in which the children learn their government is out to harm them.
The allegation is found atop page five of the CPS report.
In another completely dumbfounding, ironic entry, Sgt. Gary Haston of the Williamson County Sheriffs Department the officer whose testimony appears on the original search warrant affidavit actually claims he observed the children crying for no reason as armed officers invaded their home. [Emphasis added.]
He also claims that Barry hates his father and does not believe in church, as though this information would somehow be relevant to the CPS agents.
Haston, who Cooper described as Williamson Countys head of narcotics, has an extensive history with drug interdiction as a police officer. He was even the 2008-2009 vice president for the Texas Narcotic Officers Association Central Region, according to a memo circulated by the association. It was his testimony that gave officers access to the Coopers residence and files for the alleged misdemeanor offense of filing a false police report.
A request for comment left with the Williamson County Sheriffs Department went unanswered at time of publication.
In my 19 years of experience with criminal defense matters, a search warrant for a misdemeanor charge is certainly unusual, wrote Minnesota attorney Maury D. Beaulier, who had no prior knowledge of the Coopers case. It indicates to me that this is a targeted investigation. It may be targeted because it is believed to be a part of a greater crime or conspiracy, or, perhaps, because there are political motivations at work.
While searching through the Coopers private data, police discovered a photograph of a minor in the shower, nude from the bust up. The image was a risque self-portrait shot by one of the adolescent children, who later took sole responsibility for the photo. Both parents claimed they knew nothing about it before the issue was raised to them by authorities. Ultimately, the photo held no bearing on their case and the minor was warned to be cautious with digital imaging equipment. Because of the individuals age, all identifying information has been removed from the documents published below.
In a court hearing Tuesday, the Coopers were unsuccessful in re-obtaining custody of Zachary, Candis seven-year-old who is currently under the care of his father in Upshur County, Texas. The court did not issue a ruling, as matters of geographic limitations have yet to be addressed. Barry and Candi are seeking to have the custody battle in Travis County, but its still a matter of dispute. Lawyers for the Coopers and Zachary Johnstons father brokered limited visitation rights for Candi, but Barry is required to stay away from the boy for the time being.
Because of the nature of Texas drug laws and their status as nationally-known political activists, the Coopers are facing the very real possibility of losing Zach entirely, with future contact only allowed in the context of supervised visitation.
I just dont know what Ill do if we lose Zach, Barry said. That would be the most horrible thing to ever happen to me in my entire life.
At some point these ‘authorities’ need to start paying a very, very heavy personal price for this crap.
Distrusting the government is what makes us AMERICAN! It’s why the country was established in the first place.
Govt bureaucrats don’t want the truth to be know.
Point proven. Next lesson class.
Henry Bowman, please call your office.
I’ll state only the following on this matter:
I accepted my first wifes offer of divorce at the inconvenient time she was pregnant with my daughter in the mid 1970’s because of her penchant for marijuana, and trying to shove it off on me as acceptable behavior. My daughter was born months later high on marijuana, and to this day has problems with drugs, as well my Grandson.
I don’t like the crap. Don’t like people that do, and don’t want to talk about it any further with any of you Libertarian a-holes that constantly defend the use of it here at FR.
Guaranteed there’s drugs, and drug money behind much of our woes in this land today.
It seems that the government reaction proves the parent’s teachings.
I guess they were able to observe this first hand now.
It sounds like the parents are real losers and unfit but the writer singled in on a few troubling remarks by the police in order to create bogeymen out of all officials who want to keep drugs out of our kids’ faces. Typical Libertarian stuff. “The biggest evil in America are drug laws!”
But the founders all smoke pot and none of them were Christians. They all would support the Libertarian doctrine of creating whore houses in every neighborhood and imposing high taxes on them. /sarc.
Guaranteed theres drugs, and drug money behind much of our woes in this land today.
I’m with you! We have laws against drugs for a reason, giving drugs to kids is unconscionable, this sounds a little over the top but I am pretty sure there is more to this story.
Once the article admitted that the family broke the law and used drugs, I lost all respect for the Coopers. It sounds like they got busted legally and are now crying foul.
I guess the moral of this story is “if you intend on breaking the law and doing drugs then you should expect to have your other lifestyle choices (i.e. parenting) scrutinized”. Ever hear of “don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time”? What do you want to bet that the Coopers are still smoking pot even after this whole incident?
Sad to say, if Thomas Jefferson were alive today, he’d likely be deemed “unsuitable”.
My distrust of the government is deep, my loathing of CPS far deeper. Somewhere in between, my contempt for people who use illegal drugs.
And better a millstone around your neck in the midst of the sea, than that you should expose your children to that garbage.
And if you believe that, we'll take your parents away from you.
Where's the "Kill those who say Islam is Violent!" sign ?
Then get off the thread, your holiness.
The cops'probable cause was they thought they reconized a voice in the background of a possible false call to the police?
That sounds AWFUL weak to me!
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