Five Georgia children still in custody; advocates demand release
Outraged citizens and one lawmaker traveled to Coffee County on Monday to support the family.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Advocates and activists gathered in Coffee County Monday morning to demand that five children be released from the Department of Child Services’ custody and allowed to return to their parents in Georgia.
The children were taken into (DCS) custody more than a month ago after their father was arrested during a traffic stop where officers reportedly found marijuana and a gun.
Outraged people met at Center 615 and then drove down to Coffee County. They will be watching the court hearing, dressed in all black.
In February, Deonte Williams and Bianca Clayborne were traveling from Atlanta to Chicago when they were stopped in Manchester by the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
Williams was arrested after troopers reportedly found a few grams of marijuana and a gun in the Dodge Durango.
Later that day, Clayborne and the five children were waiting for Williams to be released when DCS employees approached the car and took them away. All five children are still in DCS custody.
In a statement from DCS, a representative said they do not share specifics about cases.
“DCS and law enforcement follow protocol for collecting evidence,” DCS representatives said in the statement. “Those findings are then presented to the court. In this instance, the evidence resulted in the court placing children in DCS custody.”
Deonte Williams and Bianca Clayborne are scheduled to appear in court on Monday morning in Coffee County.
Senator London Lamar says she will be in court and she is meeting with DCS to question them about their procedures.
“We have the worst foster care system in the country based on state reports,” stated Senator Lamar. “And DCS is taking it upon itself to remove children who are not even citizens of this state.”
When asked about what led to Williams’ arrest, THP said a convicted felon cannot be in possession of a weapon. However, the arrest warrant did not mention any charges about a convicted felon in this case.
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