Free-Range Kids

Mom Briefly Left Kids Alone While She Grabbed Starbucks. Cop Accused Her of Child Abuse.

Cop says most women in her situation "would do anything to get out of this."

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Kids in car
Dreamstime

On a 70-degree day in July, Julie Koehler was driving her three girls, 8, 5, and 4, to a bouncy house in Evanston, a suburb of Chicago. She needed coffee, so she pulled up in front of a Starbucks, opened the minivan's windows and even its sliding door to let the air in, and left the kids watching a video. She was gone for three minutes.

Thus began her ordeal with the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services.

Through the window of the Starbucks, Koehler saw a police officer walk over to her car and strike up a conversation with the girls. She assumed he was saying hi. He then disappeared. Thirty seconds later, the officer was back—and now Kohler's 8-year-old was crying. She could see him back at the car and now her 8-year-old was crying. Her 5-year-old had her hands over her ears. Her 4-year-old just froze.

Koehler flew out of the Starbucks and demanded the cop tell her what was going on. This was clearly the wrong tactic, she told me later.

"He began yelling at me, asking why I was being so 'confrontational' and demanding my information, telling me that 'most women in my situation would do anything to get out of this,'" she said in an interview.

"This" turned out to be a child abuse investigation.

Koehler, it so happens, is no ordinary mom: She's a public defender in the homicide division, which means she isn't easily intimidated by the police, and she asks a lot of questions. When she asked her kids what the officer had said to them, the 5-year-old said, "He asked where our mother was and I told him you were standing right there in Starbucks."

Had the officer heeded the girl and turned around, he would have seen Koehler waving, she said. Instead, he barged into the nail salon next door and demanded to know if the mother who had "abandoned" her kids was in there. (That's what the manicurist told Koehler afterward.) The answer was, of course, was no, so he returned to grill the kids some more, and that's when they started crying.

After Koehler joined the fray and refused to back down, the officer threatened to have her children taken away. This had its desired effect. Koehler became distraught. She phoned her mom and husband to drop everything and come to her, at which point the officer gave her back her ID and left, she said.

As upsetting as all this was, she believed the incident was over. She was wrong.

"Two days later, a Department of Children and Family Services agent stood at my door," she recalled. "Despite my telling her these exact facts, my children becoming hysterical when she questioned them about the police officer, and my offering to provide witnesses (the two Starbucks employees who were totally shocked at the situation)…she faxed a report to my pediatrician's office requiring my children to undergo a physical examination."

In addition to this examination for signs of child abuse, the DCFS agent interviewed the children about the incident and about the way their mother treats them. DCFS also required Koehler to provide two references and proceeded to question them, too. But the thing that upset Koehler most was the questioning of her mental health.

"I was asked whether or not I was on any medications and both of my references were as well," said Koehler. "That is so far beyond the scope of an appropriate question from a legal standpoint. I have to get court orders and waivers signed to get medical information regarding a client. And as a mother, what a scary question! What if I was taking an anti-depressant? Would that have affected the outcome of the case? I am certainly glad that I am not. I am confident I would have been judged differently. What a deterrent for any mother considering taking medication to treat a mental illness."

In the end, a little over a month later, the agency sent Koehler a letter:

You were previously notified that the Department of Children and Family Services ("DCFS") was investigating a report of suspected child abuse or neglect in fulfillment of its duties under the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act, 325 ILCS 5/1 et seq.

After an initial investigation, DCFS has determined no good faith indication of abuse or neglect exists, and a formal investigation will not be conducted. This report will be "unfounded." This means your name will not be listed as a perpetrator of child abuse or neglect on the State Central Register.

Well that's a relief! But:

DCFS will maintain a copy of this investigative report for a period of one to three years.

In other words: Even though Koehler is "not listed as a perpetrator of child abuse or neglect," she is still listed as a person who was investigated for child abuse or neglect. Maybe that's not the "State Central Register" but it's not the shredder, either.

The agency did, however, offer a bit of relief:

If you believe that an intentional false report was made to DCFS, you have the right to request that DCFS maintain the report as an intentional false report.

Koehler has already made such a request.

"As you are most undoubtedly aware, there is no specific law indicating that it is unlawful to leave your child unattended in a vehicle," she wrote in her response to the agency.

The only law Koehler could have broken is willful endangerment of her children, which even a cop must realize does not apply to a three-minute errand. That's especially true, given that "more children die walking through parking lots than being left inside a car," she wrote in her letter. She went on to request the department take the cop to task for wasting its time and resources.

It would be only fitting if the officer ends up investigated for mom abuse.

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  1. Wait, she’s familiar with how the system works and yet she’s challenging it? Yeah, lady, you’re losing your kids because you’re fucking insane.

    1. Sounds like she is not losing her kids.

      Good for her, I say.

      1. She is not losing her kids….yet.

    2. My Friend just told me about this easiest method of earning money from home. I’ve just tried it and now I am making $12500 per month without spending too much time. you can also learn about this trick by the link below…..

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      1. Reporting innocent moms to CPS? Who knew?

    3. She is one piss poor lawyer and I would not want her. She gave permission for all of those checks and she did not have to let them speak with her children. She should have been a controlled angry momma bear the whole time.

      “Maybe that’s not the “State Central Register” but it’s not the shredder, either.”
      Wrong. It IS the state central register. In New York they keep unfounded reports for 10 years after the youngest child has turned 18.

    4. PSA
      If you have children in school than you should notify the school and/or your children not to allow them to be interviewed by CPS. CPS will go to the school first to interview them before you are notified. Be proactive.

  2. Had the officer heeded the girl and turned around, he would have seen Koehler waving, she said. Instead, he barged into the nail salon next door and demanded to know if the mother who had “abandoned” her kids was in there.

    So, the cop was charged with child abuse through abandonment, right? RIGHT?!

    1. No shit. And what a fucking asshole the cop was. Kids say she is in Starbucks and he assumes mom is getting her nails done.

      1. Come, be realistic. The kids probably said their mom was inside and pointed towards the building. It was still stupid on the cops part but there’s no evidence he was intentionally creating a crisis. Indeed, he was probably strictly following procedure and precedent in the situation.

        The issue is that we’ve established truly stupid rules and now everybody is being ensnared in the enforced idiocy.

        1. there’s no evidence he was intentionally creating a crisis

          The story proves otherwise.

        2. but there’s no evidence he was intentionally creating a crisis.

          He’s a bureaucrat. Intentionally creating a crisis is the fucking job definition.

          1. He just wanted her “to do anything to get out of this”…

      2. Kids say she is in Starbucks and he assumes mom is getting her nails done.

        I suspect the cop deliberately chose to ignore what the kids said and went to the nail salon, knowing full well that the mom wasn’t there, in order to bolster his claim that the children had been “abandoned”. He’s clearly an asshole prone to ego stroking power trips: exactly the kind of cop who gets pissy at any prole who dares disrespect his AUTHORITAY.

  3. A badge only concentrates the ignorance in a fool.

    1. A badgeauthority only concentrates the ignorance in a fool.

      FTFY

  4. She went on to request the department take the cop to task for wasting its time and resources.

    It would be only fitting if the officer ends up investigated for mom abuse.

    Let’s all hold our breath on that one.

  5. Right when I think I finally want kids, I read a story like this.

    1. Not in Chicago, anyway.

  6. Disrespect of authoriteh. You’d think a public defender would have understood that. She’s obviously too naive to be a mother.

    1. Most of the PDs I know have less respect for cops than most of us around H&R.

      1. Probably with good reason.

  7. I wonder if the cop is so stupid that he thinks she was just a MILF and he had the wrong usage of that verb because that’s all he knows how to do — fuck people over.

  8. Had the officer heeded the girl and turned around…

    Why would the cop do that? He saw the situation, determined exactly what was going on, and then proceeded to get the information to prove it.

    I’ve seen cops threaten witnesses with arrest for loitering when their words contradicted what the cop decided had happened. They decide reality. They don’t heed anyone.

    1. When disobeying a police officer is a crime, then this is what you get. His word is literally the law.

  9. Semi related: there’s a reason Mom tells you to sit up straight!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09……html?_r=0

    “But in a later briefing, a senior Unification Ministry official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said that Kim Jong-un had found fault with the 63-year-old deputy premier’s “disrespectful posture” during a meeting that Mr. Kim oversaw in late June.”

    1. +1 anti-aircraft gun execution

    2. North Korea. It’s as if that kid from the twilight zone episode It’s a Good Life is running an entire country.

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0734580/

      Remember, the one where everyone’s terrified of the kid.

      1. Billy Mummy repeated it in the newer Twilight Zone as that kid, now a father. He had a daughter to instruct on it! It was on the Elray and Chill networks.

    3. I am glad to see that N Korea also has a “free press”:

      (from the link to the NYT article)

      “Choe Hui, a deputy chief of the party’s Propaganda and Agitation Department, was also banished for re-education, Mr. Jeong said.”

  10. The only law Koehler could have broken is willful endangerment of her children, which even a cop must realize does not apply to a three-minute errand

    I think the cop does not realize that.

    I was asked whether or not I was on any medications and both of my references were as well,” said Koehler. “That is so far beyond the scope of an appropriate question from a legal standpoint. I have to get court orders and waivers signed to get medical information regarding a client. And as a mother, what a scary question! What if I was taking an anti-depressant? Would that have affected the outcome of the case? I am certainly glad that I am not. I am confident I would have been judged differently. What a deterrent for any mother considering taking medication to treat a mental illness.”

    Tell us whether or not you could be mentally ill so that we can judge you and put you on lists.

  11. Fuck this cop. Fuck this system. Fuck anyone who defends them.

    1. This. There probably aren’t enough woodchippers to feed all of Illinois law enforcement through them feet first, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try it.

  12. The only law Koehler could have broken is willful endangerment of her children

    Well, she left her children in a place where the cops could get to them. That certainly endangered them. She’s lucky there wasn’t a dog in the car; he probably would have emptied his pistol into the car and then reloaded to do it again.

  13. Did all of you disrespectful libertarians miss the part where the temperature was 70 degrees?! SEVENTY. That means it was like 115 in the car, and after three minutes it would have soared to like 158 if that Hero Cop hadn’t acted in time!

    1. Did you miss the part where it said the windows and a sliding door was open, so there’s no way it was over 100* inside the van? Plus, these kids were all old enough to understand how to unbuckle and open the door and go inside if they needed to. I know because my 3 kids are the same age these 3 kids and I’ve certainly run into fast food restaurants or gas stations before and left my kids in the van with the windows open for a few mins, knowing that my kids won’t open the door for anyone except a police officer and if they get too hot my oldest will lead the youngest two inside to where I am. If these children had been babies then *maybe* the cop would have a valid point because a kid under age 3 isn’t going to be able to unbuckle and open a door if they get too hot or if there’s a problem, but with an 8 yr old in the van (and the younger 2 being 5 and 4) there’s no reason to call what this mom did “abandonment.” Many kids walk to and from school alone at 8 and 5, so they can’t sit in a van for 3 min alone? It scares me to think that our nation has become so obsessed with parenting other people’s children and with over-coddling of children that parents have to be afraid to be parents, and lord forbid they ever actually make a real parenting mistake in public. We may as well hang them in the middle of the parking lot! This mom didn’t put her kids in any real danger and while the police officer may have been following procedure, it’s clear that this procedure is wrong.

      1. Your sarcasm detector requires recalibration.

        1. QUIT PLUGGING YOUR BRAND

          1. Thanks Sarcasmic & Pan Fried, love the early morning laughs!

      2. laina, I was being sarcastic; I understand that, as a parent of three yourself, this stuff hits you a lot closer than it does me, being a parent of zero. You are 100% correct.

    2. That means it was like 115 in the car, and after three minutes it would have soared to like 158 if that Hero Cop hadn’t acted in time!

      It’s a proven fundamental scientific principle that tells us, repeatedly, that well within a hundred years, the interior of her car will be as hot as the surface of Venus.

    3. Car temperature increases exponentially with time!

      Source: the newz

    4. Don’t forget to add the climate change factor. It’s more like 212 degrees!

      1. That’s almost hot enough to melt steel beams!

  14. We have to remember that many cops automatically assume they are right no matter what.

    1. And why wouldn’t they be. We all know the people who become cops were those that excelled at math, statistics, and hard science not the ones that barely got through remedial algebra. They certainly didn’t get the jobs because it allowed them to relive their junior high days bullying the skinny little kids in gym class. Most would no doubt be noble prize winners but they selflessly chose to employ their courage and brilliant intellect for the benefit of all of us. We must trust cops are always right because clearly they are drawn from the best of human stock.

      1. PUBLIC SERVANTS!!!

      2. From the Onion.

        http://www.theonion.com/articl…..ove–33427

        Insecure, Frustrated Bully With Something To Prove Considering Career In Law Enforcement

        It’s funny because it’s true !

        1. You should have quoted the best, most true part:

          “My dad’s encouraging me to go to the academy, and he says that once I graduate I can probably get a job around here,” said Lockhart, referring to the man whose own lack of compassion and propensity for inexplicable violence is largely to blame for similar patterns in his son, and who is himself a veteran police officer.

  15. The officer in question, be a a jerk or a pillar of the community [most likely neither, just somewhere on the continuum like most of us] is following the narrative: that parents are all essentially neglectful, and it is up to the State to catch them at it because the government has assumed authority in all matters and knows what is best.

    And of course what is playing in the back of said LEO’s mind, and that of all his superiors, are the much reported child deaths all around the country this summer from being left in a closed car on a hot day. So as LEO he assumes all children left in any car in any condition for any length of time of pretty much a felony and negligent homicide in the making.

    The solution? A little freaking judgement as to what constitutes endangerment, and not a one size fits all mentality. This has been the problem with anything relating to children for years, especially in school settings and now applies to all “free range” children [anyone under the age of 18 not in immediate contact with and oversight by their parents/guardians]. Taken to logical extremes.

    1. WORD.

  16. Granted, this cop overreacted. But this incident is overshadowed by the dozens of cops across the country who buy kids candy bars or help them re-attach their bicycle chains.

    1. My father was a career cop, so I hale from a “cop family.” The job has a huge suck factor, but most police are decent people who try to do some good along with dealing with the worst element society has to offer. And very little appreciation for what they do.

      I seriously doubt anyone would like to eliminate them, other than career predators.

      Police need to be trained in the use of judgement and critical thinking, and then be empowered to use that skill in their work; otherwise you get the overreaction as seen in this and other cases where the cop goes over board and the story ends of on Reason.org.

      If a police does not display consistent and reasonably good judgement [and everyone makes mistakes] over time, perhaps they should not be employed as police officers.

      1. My issue isn’t usually with individual cops. It is with the blue shield that protects bad cops

        1. Well, for me it’s a little more. I don’t ever want to resort to hyperbole against cops when the weekly installment is published, and I’m sure there’s some “good cops” out there. The major issue is the “system” in place. The system that uses the fourth negative standard deviation to drive all interaction. Whether it’s cops or OSHA or IRS or the Justice Department. It’s the “zero tolerance” that has infected the system. Zero tolerance IS tyranny. It’s EXACTLY what it is. Instead of reserving The Hammer of the system for precisely the fourth standard deviation, it’s used against the “middle mass” because it’s the most pliant and accessible. We have a massively overblown bureaucracy and “executives” who use their might against the lowest hanging fruit. Even worse, is much of the fourth standard deviation is let off as incorrigible (or they can afford good counsel), and the system feasts on the least dangerous. Cops are simply ONE of the tendrils of this phenomenon, but there’s (sadly) so many more.

          But I still stand during the national anthem…

          1. I know compliments are rare in this venue, and if they do occur they are assumed to be sarcastic. But I sincerely agree with your post 100%, 0 tolerance = unthinking adherence to 0 use of judgement. And it is a pernicious evil..

            1. People fear being accused of “wrong” judgments, so they created a “zero judgment” system where everyone is automatically guilty.

          2. “Zero tolerance IS tyranny.”

            Zero tolerance means zero actual thinking or judgment is required, which allows people incapable of thinking or judgment to be placed in positions of authority. Chaos ensues.

      2. Police need to be trained in the use of judgement and critical thinking

        There’s no special training required for that. Just an IQ above room temperature and a HS diploma should be sufficient evidence that a cop (or anyone else for that matter) is capable of those things. The fact that so many people seem to be incapable of meeting even that low standard of intelligence is telling.

        1. Police need to be trained in the use of judgement and critical thinking

          WTF? Anyone with such skills is already prevented from joining the force in the first place. A police VOLUNTEERED to do a job where the #1 requirement is to enforce the whims of asshole legislators.

        2. Sure, just as in my business graduates of schools of nursing who pass their boards should have critical thinking and judgement skills; most do, but it should never be assumed and therefore it has to be a part of their on the job training.

      3. Oh ffs.
        I have zero training and I’ve never shot an unarmed puppy or freaked out over the sight of a kid in a car.

        1. THANK YOU, random variable…
          that kops evidently feel ordained to send young black men and dogs to heaven/purgatory on sight is bad enough; that a million skinny 10-15 year olds are out in the streets RIGHT NOW delivering papers going past dozens of ‘bad dogs’, and they don’t have to shoot a single one of the dogs, proves what chickenshits the donut eaters are…

      4. In cases like these, the police over-reaction is the symptom, not the disease. The disease is the overcriminalization of every…f&$^ing…thing.

        I’m also of the opinion that most police are good people doing their jobs, but most WWI German soldiers were good people doing their jobs too. It’s the system that’s disgustingly corrupt.

      5. No offense, but there is an ass load of appreciation for cops out there. The idea that they are under appreciated for the job they do is utter bullshit.

        1. And anybody that gets pissed off because you didn’t show them the proper respect is NOT a good person.

          1. Cops are appreciated, though this is by no means universal. We must be reading different news feeds.

            1. He didn’t use the word universal.

              1. No, the term was “ass load;” Do we really want to deliberate that precise meaning of universal vis-a-vis “ass load?”

                I’ll pass on that thank you.

    2. I almost agree about most cops being decent people. In most situations most are.

      But one big issue remains: pretty much all cops are willing to arrest and imprison people for drug offenses and other victimless “crimes”. That is pure fucking evil. And they all do it. Until they start refusing to enforce unjust laws, fuck ’em.

      People will say “but they are just doing the job. someone has to be police even if laws are imperfect”. Well, there is a line beyond which “just doing the job” isn’t an excuse anymore. I put enforcing laws against victimless behaviors over that line.

      1. When there are efforts to get rid of unjust laws, the police are typically right there lobbying against any proposal to say, legalize pot. The excuse of, “just following orders”, rings pretty hollow when you’re also deeply involved in creating the orders.

  17. Cop says most women in her situation “would do anything to get out of this.”

    You know how many pornos start exactly that way?

    Mom: “Anything, huh…” *cue the porn music*

    1. hmmmmm, that is just a little creepy, isn’t it

    2. Actually, I had the same thought. There are many documented cases where cops have used their power to coerce sexual favors. Not saying he was going to do something then and there, but hey, you know, maybe she should meet him for “coffee” later?

  18. It would be only fitting if the officer ends up investigated for mom abuse.

    Fitting, but we all know nothing will happen to the cop. She’s just lucky the cop didn’t feel “threatened” by her lack of respect for his AUTHORITAY and empty his magazine into her, the van, the children, anyone else who happened to be in the general vicinity…

  19. Even if the cop hadn’t been there, every idiot judgemental mom would have called every cop in a 10 mile radius screaming reckless abandonment.

    I drop off a child at preschool at 730am leaving my 7yo and 1yo in the car while i take her to class. Its like playing russian roulette every morning.

  20. Any source for ANY of this?

    1. ANY?

      There apparently IS such a woman…

  21. The author obviously doesn’t like the current procedures for dealing with kids left alone. Fair enough. But she’s never (at least as far as I can tell) articulated what the policy should be.

    I doubt she (or the staff at Reason) is in favor of having no set policy or standards, but instead giving cops/social workers the discretion to decide for themselves when it’s okay and when it’s not.

    So what is the policy? A certain amount of time? 10 minutes alone is okay, but 11 isn’t? Or some combination of time and distance from the kids? 10 minutes if the parent is within 50 feet, but not if she’s 60 feet away? How about factoring in the age of the kids? 15 minutes away from the kid is okay if the parent is within 100 feet of the kid and the kid is at least 8 years old, but only 10 minutes at 100 feet if the kid is only 7?

    There are good reasons why society has rules. And if you don’t like the rules we have, it’s incumbent upon you to propose an alternative.

    1. No, it’s not. But if you need one, There’s the Golden Rule. So somewhere between that and the THOUSANDS of rules added daily that makes you a criminal three times over before you’ve started your car in the morning, is the sweet spot. And if YOU want guns pointed at people to tell them what to do, YOU have the obligation to define FIRST.

    2. How about this: the parent can do what they want with the children and if somebody commits a crime against the kids while they’re sitting in their parents car, that person be charged with the crime they committed. And if a child is in obvious distress a passerby can break the glass and assist the child and that person and the parent can negotiate compensation for damage to the car.

    3. How about not messing with people who aren’t obviously in trouble? Ask the kids if they are OK and leave them be if they are.

      This is a situation where judgement is necessary. A rule stipulating a certain amount of time kids can be left alone would be just as bad. An arbitrary line like that is going to punish some innocent people.
      There were times when I was a kid where I would happily wait for a hour in the car listening to music or whatever while my mom went shopping. Because I wanted to.

      Having clear rules with clear lines drawn for everything sounds nice, but it will always be arbitrary and therefore unjust to many people. The standard should be that there must be strong evidence of actual abuse or neglect, i.e. evidence that would allow you to charge someone with a crime.

    4. if you don’t like the rules we have, it’s incumbent upon you to propose an alternative.

      Here’s one =

      – Fuck off, slaver

    5. Here’s your alternative. Piss the fuck off, authoritarian punk.

    6. Except there aren’t any rules about leaving your kid in an open fucking car on a nice 70 degree summer day watching a movie.

      Fuck off and mind your own business.

  22. “the two Starbucks employees who were totally shocked at the situation”

    This is why our country is going to hell. Most people have no clue what is going on.

    When I was a kid, my parents and the parents of every other kid I knew would all have been in jail for child abuse and we all would have been wards of the state. And yet, no harm ever came to any of us outside of by our own doings. I have to assume at this point, that these days if a kid goes to school with skinned up knees and elbows or bruises, their parents are investigated for child abuse. Murika, fuck yeah!

    1. And if they do have a clue, they convince themselves the mom (or whoever) must have done something. The police wouldn’t go after someone innocent. If you haven’t done anything wrong, you’ve go nothing to worry about, right ?

  23. Cop says most women in her situation “would do anything to get out of this.”

    [imagines how this situation plays out]

    1. Can also be said as “Most people are afraid of cops.”. And not without some reason, justly or not. Cops are no more “perfect” and can / do make mistakes, even the really, really, I mean really-cubed good ones. This one, judging only by the words on the page, would be suspect and an investigation into his actions seems warranted.

      That issue could also have been resolved very quickly if the cop had summoned a supervisor. Would have, in most cases, made it a non-issue. But instead the cop decided to get into a pissing contest with someone who, in all likelihood, could do it much better than he can. At least that is what I think is true based on the “Historical Documents” I have see on the “Global Media Archive”.

      1. That issue could also have been resolved very quickly if the cop had summoned a supervisor.

        What?

        over kids in a car?

  24. Didn’t the fucking cop abandon the kids when he went into the nail shop? Fuck yes, he did, so fuck him, too!

  25. “He asked where our mother was and I told him you were standing right there in Starbucks.”

    “He asked where our mother was and I told him I have the right to remain silent.”

  26. Prog: ” but why do you need an AR 15? ”
    Parents: ” for when the DF CS shows up and threatens to take your children “

    1. *DCFS ….but you knew that

  27. Here’s hoping Governor Rauner cuts the DCFS budget down to zero.

  28. shame on you all. that cop saved those three girls from imminent kidnapping and lives as prostitutes. there was probably a van with blacked out windows circling the parking lot just waiting for a child to be left alone for 3 minutes. he’s a hero.

    1. nah, it was one of them clowns that’s been menacing lately.

  29. Having 2 children of my own, this kind of shit infuriates me beyond all rationality. The whole “Stranger Danger” epidemic from the 80’s & 90’s has come full circle and gone full blown ReTaRdeD these days.

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    1. but does she leave her kids in the Cadillac unattended?

  31. $5 says the cop is a closet child abuser.

    1. Seems more like he was hoping for an offer from the mom.

      Quote: Cop says most women in her situation “would do anything to get out of this.”

  32. I’m most bothered by the reality that the mom had to submit to all this crap. First the interrogation of her and her kids by the cop. Then a visit and interrogation of her and her kids by DHS. Then a mandatory trip to the pediatrician for and exam of the kids. And interviews of references.

    I want to go back to a world where you can tell all these busy bodies to eff-off. Or at least when DHS shows up at your door you don’t have to let them in.

    1. Yeah, the shitty part is that there were multiple government employees who had a chance to stop this at any point by going “wait…this is insane! We’re harassing an innocent person!”

      None did.

      1. CPS workers have to do due diligence…and that means asking parents for cooperation to elicit information to support a conclusion even if the worker knows it’s horse shit. Parents need not comply.

    2. “I want to go back to a world where you can tell all these busy bodies to eff-off. Or at least when DHS shows up at your door you don’t have to let them in.”

      That world is here. You do not have to talk with CPS and you do not have to let them talk to your children. Now, if some parent has done something harmful, I mean verifiably harmful, than that parent may want to work it out with CPS. On the other hand, if a parent has not, let them pound sand. Their only recourse is to take you to family court and present their evidence. Exceedingly weak in this case. Most people foolishly submit. Just like this member of the bar.

      Do your part and resist!

  33. RE: Mom Briefly Left Kids Alone While She Grabbed Starbucks. Cop Accused Her of Child Abuse.

    The mother should be publically flogged. Leaving her children in a car to get a cup of Joe is indefensible. She was lucky her children didn’t die a horrible death! One can only imagine of the possibilities that could have happened to these poor urchins. They could have started using crayons in their coloring books. They might have starting singing songs, off key no less. They might have watched a DVD in their car or worse yet, listened to a radio with all its ugly pro-capitalist commercials. Who knows, they might have even started to talk to each other until the mother returned. Oh, the horror.
    The horror!

    1. What’s really sad is that there are plenty of comments just like this, only they weren’t kidding. Facebook is a cesspool. People seem to have lost all sense of perspective.

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  35. that’s why we call them PIGS!SS nazi bas-ta-rd!

  36. I let my kids play outside, unsupervised. I let them walk to school and back home all by themselves. I left my kids home alone when they were mature enough to be trusted. I let my kids play with dogs and cats, turtles, bugs, snakes and horses. I left my kids in the car with all windows opened when I needed to run into the store for an emergency item and didn’t need to drag a herd of cats along. I let my kids fight and squabble. I also yelled at my kids in private and public. My kids are independent, creative, inquisitive and not burdens to society. I should be in prison for life.

  37. Spiteful cop because she didn’t kiss his ass.

  38. The concern of the National Association of Parents (https://www.parentsusa.org) is that parents across America will no longer make decisions about their children based on what they consider best (or acceptable). Instead, there is an increasingly “chilling” impact of police intervention unnecessarily and/or CPS investigations that far exceed the scope of reasonableness in light of the alleged neglect (see this case of Julie Koehler). Earlier in August, Susan Terrillion was arrested and charged with “endangering” her children which, under Delaware law, means her children were “LIKELY to suffer injury[.]” Likely means “high probability!” Not true. Not even accepting 100% of what the police allege. We are representing her pro bono (not cost to her) and have reached out to Julie Koehler to offer our assistance because, like most all of you commenting here, we believe what has happened is WRONG (violation of rights in a free society). If you would, please considering joining and/or donating at our website and review our campaigns here – http://tiny.cc/helptheseparents

  39. This is the future of America. Voting for Hillary and her ilk assures it.

  40. WOW; hard to believe some of the comments, language and misinformation rolling around here….

    How about if we deal with some facts first? Remember those?

    There IS a law in the state of IL that makes it illegal to leave children alone in vehicles.
    (720 ILCS 5/12?21.6) Sec. 12?21.6. Endangering the life or health of a child. Two important provisions say that the children have to be left for more than 10 minutes in a car and it pertains to children 6 and younger if they are not being supervised by someone 14 or older.

    Do we believe this story as it was told? I ‘wish’ I could get in and out of a Starbucks store in 3-minutes!! It takes that long to place and pay for your order if no one is in line. (rare) Then they go about making the magical drinks that for some reason take much longer than they should.

    This cop does appear to be a real ‘jerk’ if the story is being told accurately. But, who knows; was he on a call the day before where a child was sweating profusely after being left alone in a car and had to administer life-saving measures?

    So much judging….good, bad and indifferent.

    1. There IS a law in the state of IL that makes it illegal to leave children alone in vehicles.
      (720 ILCS 5/12?21.6) Sec. 12?21.6. Endangering the life or health of a child. Two important provisions say that the children have to be left for more than 10 minutes in a car and it pertains to children 6 and younger if they are not being supervised by someone 14 or older.

      Yup, and that law is absolute shit. Next!

      Do we believe this story as it was told? I ‘wish’ I could get in and out of a Starbucks store in 3-minutes!! It takes that long to place and pay for your order if no one is in line. (rare) Then they go about making the magical drinks that for some reason take much longer than they should.

      So much for “dealing with the facts.” Here’s some anecdotes and innuendo masquerading as fact.

      This cop does appear to be a real ‘jerk’ if the story is being told accurately.

      He seems to be a jerk even if the kids were in the car for an hour.

      But, who knows; was he on a call the day before where a child was sweating profusely after being left alone in a car and had to administer life-saving measures?

      “Hi little kids, I’m Officer Friendly. Are you all doing okay in here? Yes? Okay, just checking.” No profusely sweating kids. No tense argument. No sexual advances. No CPS showing up the next week.

      Besides, since when are parents’ rights contingent on the cop’s emotional state?

      1. Exactly.

    2. @ noreasontocommmentorlive-
      THANKS for outing yourself, authoritarian, got one more judgment for you: you are an anti-freedom, dickless brownshirt who will do well under Empire…

    3. That law you partially quote above was found to be an unconstitutional rebuttable presumption by the Illinois Supreme Court in People v. Jordan, 2015 IL 116834; 33 N.E.3d 162; 2015 Ill. LEXIS 306; 392 Ill. Dec. 613. The 10 minutes in a car for children under six, no longer prohibited.

      What does remain is that “it is unlawful for any person to WILLFULLY cause or permit the life or health of a child under the age of 18 to be endangered, or to WILLFULLY cause or permit a child to be placed in circumstances that endanger the child’s life or health…” (Emphasis added.)

      Good luck to any prosecutor in court attempting to prove that a person WILLFULLY put his/her child’s life in danger by leaving them alone in a car for three minutes. The point is, Child Protective Services in IL may have a zero tolerance on the act of leaving a child alone in a car for any amount of time, but IL law does not prohibit it…unless by doing so the parent is WILFULLY leaving that child to die.

      And FYI, it was 5:00 on a Sunday night when this occurred. There was no line in Starbucks and I’m a straight black coffee drinker. Fuels the rage!

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  42. I often leave my boys, ages 6 and 3, in the car before taking them to school/daycare because I forgot to feed the cat, or lock the door, or one of them forgot their lunch. I have argued with my wife about this because I don’t think its a big deal and she tells me that one day, someone might call the cops on me. After reading this, I might take that a bit more seriously.

    1. What’s so sad here is that the real threat is someone calling the cops. I mean sure, something bad COULD happen but it’s a lot more likely that some busybody with nothing better to do would get you in trouble.

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  45. If I were this chick the first words out of my mouth after “Hey what’s going on here?” and the officer responding like a dick would have been “I’m an attorney. Do you really wanna go where I think you’re going with this???”

    I feel like if more sane lawyers would step up to the plate in a lot of these insane situations it would help things. It’s basically the crazy/asshole/power tripping lawyers who fucked everything up in the first place, so it seems the sane lawyers would be quite useful in fighting a lot of it. Look at all the nuts laws that have been thrown out by good lawyers. It almost makes me want to puke to even say the phrase “good lawyers” in this context, but there are some! I’ve even met a few. I’ve met one of the main lawyers who has helped with a lot of marijuana legalization stuff in Washington state. He was a cool guy, and amusingly enough more of a libertarian than a prog-tard.

  46. @ the dingleberry who said how stupid the mom was for not respecting the donut eaters awe-thor-I-tie: FOAD, toady of Empire…

  47. So here is a little different slant on this and why we are dealing with a zero tolerance policy issue. Let’s say that the officer realized what this was and sent the family on their way. Months later, one of the children dies in that hot car, there will be a record of a pattern of behavior. This leaves the police dept. on the hook both in the press and in a civil court. Zero tolerance is not about helping anyone, it is about covering your a$$ so that you don’t get sued.

  48. What’s the name of this police officer who thinks it’s part of his job to harrass children as young as four(!!!) and make them cry?

    The way forward is to name and shame such people who are supposed to be protecting children and instead think that harrassing them is the right way to do their job…

  49. Seems that the police officer himself is guilty of child abuse, I hope he himself gets charged and convicted

  50. Exactly why all social workers need to die.

    1. I find the evil is amongst the lawyers and judges that are involved in these cases. They will conspire against parents, especially poor ones. The judge is the boss of social services as he will drag the commissioner before him should he not like how a case or case history was handled….which usually means without involving the judge.

      Example
      Pot smoking parents in one county will get dragged to court if they do not comply with CPS and in the next county over they will not for whatever reasons. It’s the judge that is setting the tone. CPS will not bother if the judge does not support/demand it.

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  52. After reading the most unbelievably judgemental crap on this article from Facebook, it was a refreshing change to come here and read commentary from sane people. According to the Sactimoms, NO child should EVER be left alone even for two seconds. Several called her a selfish bitch, others blithely suggested her children be taken away from her, citing child abuse and neglect over and over again. One said if she EVER saw children alone in a car, she’d break every window to rescue them, and her actions would be upheld by the law. No asking if the kids are ok, just straight up vandalism. In the name of safety, of course.

    Are these people insane? They let their children walk to school alone, which by their own rationale is felony child endangerment, but they fixate on kids being alone in the car for a few minutes with Mom watching? Why is one ok but not the other? These moms make it sound as if they really never do let their kids out of their sight. And wow, do I feel sorry for them.

    This is a sick overreaction on the cop’s part. I wouldn’t normally advocate for leaving children alone in a vehicle, but I also wasn’t there that day. I don’t have the benefit of this mom’s situational awareness at that time, an awareness that obviously led her to judge that her kids would be safe. Yet the pinheads act like they narrowly escaped a child molester convention, and only thanks to Officer Friendly. Give me a break.

  53. “He began yelling at me, asking why I was being so ‘confrontational’ and demanding my information, telling me that ‘most women in my situation would do anything to get out of this,'”

    I think he was asking her for a blowjob.

  54. The Evanston Police are out of control, in my humble opinion. They have been known to beat detainees while in handcuffs and then claiming it was justified. Nobody has stopped them. They have hamstrung the public from recording them while they are doing this, and instead of being arrested themselves, they can put you in jail. Only in Illinois. Corruption on top of corruption, again, in my opinion. Would love to know the name of the police officer.
    Over ten years ago, the Evanston Police took a man who had a broken tail light into the bathroom (away from the cameras) while he was in handcuffs and beat the s… out of him. Over a year ago, there was another incident with a young woman. Her ordeal is still playing out in the courts. Martin Niemoller, a Lutheran Pastor in Germany foretold what happens when we let the police run unchecked. When the Nazi police came for Catholics, Gypsies, Communists, Socialists, and Jews nobody spoke up, and then when they came for him, there was no one left to speak for him. Beware, the Evanston Police are at our doors.
    While I am pro police, I am anti police bullying and brutality. There is an oxymoron there.

  55. She should/could have focused on the cops suggestive comment that “a qoman in your situation would do ANYTHING to get out of it:..:anything? Really? If that isn’t a proposition to trade favours I don’t know what is…. she could always run with that……. particularly since the 8 year old TOLD the stupid cop where Mum was at that moment, but Stupid He ran off to the nail salon instead….. oh well. Big city coppers aren’t known for brains.

  56. Look at the City of Evanston human services committee video for 10/4/16 where this mom testifies before the city council about this incident. She seems to have anger management problems and appears to even have some mental health isssues. There’s no doubt she escalated this incident out of control. Also it doesn’t mention that this cop was flagged down by several concerned citizens.

  57. Most people don’t know this, but CPS is perhaps the most corrupt branch of government. The agents get a bonus everytime they “rescue” a child, so most of the time, they will make stuff up to get someone’s child taken away. And courts believe them because apparently they never lie or do wrong. Well, my sister got her children taken away because her kids had gotten dirty from lunch and someone in public saw it and reported it. The CPS worker spun a bunch of lies. I hope that bitch gets raped. She deserves it.

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