"In February 2020, 3-year-old Serenity Robinson died after her mother, Leslie Zeagler, crashed her car near MLK Boulevard and Rockfill Road. Zeagler was high at the time of the crash, with meth, fentanyl, methadone, benzoylecgonine, diazepam, and nordiazepam in her system, according to her arrest report. Serenity was not in a car seat when her mother crashed her car."
Sounds like the mother had a bit of culpability here...
The officer cut the woman a break and unfortunately it came back to bite him. He should have to take his lumps, but the link text says he was arrested...which he wasn't. He'll probably get some unpaid time or something and then get back to it.
Dereliction of duty to be sure, but just because a cop fails to do his duty, stupid people automatically bear no responsibility whatsoever for failing to protect their own child? My guess is even if he had reported it, they would have failed to secure the child the next time anyway. But at least then the cop would be off the hook.
A few years ago there wasn't even a law re: child safety seats and adult seat belts. Now the gov't can take your child, arrest you, and arrest the LEO if the driver isn't in full compliance with each of these laws. There just seem to be so many laws covering so many parts of our lives these days that nobody can be in full compliance anymore. Also, I'm a big proponent of the use of seat belts and child safety seats, but what will be next? Will there be County Dental Inspectors visiting homes every night and arresting people that forgot to brush their teeth before bed?
Uh, actually, he WAS ARRESTED, and he's been charged with a felony....
" Dereliction of Duty" becuase he didn't call DCF and initiate a negelct case BECAUSE WHEN HE MADE A TRAFFIC STOP ON THE MOTHER MORE THAN A MONTH PRIOR TO THE FATAL CRASH THE KID WAS NOT IN A CAR SEAT!?
That's beyond a stretch, that's malicious prosecution.
This is absurd, they are stretching a existing statute (duty to report child endangerment) to include a kid not in a car seat.
They are trying to make the case that the kid not being in a car seat equals child endangerment/child abuse and thus the officer was required to report it to CYS.
And the one making the claim? The "friend" of the mother who also happens to be shaking up with the daughters father?
They smell money in them thar hills.
There must be a LOT more to this story.
I’ve never heard of a requirement to contact DCF every time a child is not in a car seat or wearing a seat belt
I can see him getting in trouble if he arrested the mother after the traffic stop, and did not call DCF about the child she had with her, but doing it for every minor without a seatbelt???
MLK Blvd sounds like a dangerous road.
Family is looking for a payday. Nothing more.
It is prosecutor overreach. They are trying to make the case that the child not being in a car seat equals child abuse/neglect which State law (at least when I worked in FL) would require to contact CYS and report.
I've written a lot of tickets for Unrestrained Child and never notified Child Protective Services. I even gave a couple of warnings. I hope the statute or limitations is up.
That is ridiculous.
Completely ridiculous. They are going after cops like Dems going after Trump. Things they did and should take responsibility for, get blamed on the other person.
The woman was high on a cocktail of drugs and the cop gets charged?
And since the "friend" knew about the incident, and she didn't report it to child protective services, will she be charged too ???
Exactly, a child not in a car seat or safety belt is a citation which does not require CYS being contacted.
But instead ofthe chief fighting this ridiculous prosecutor over reach he is instead going along with it.
Sssshhhhh. Your not supposed to ask common sense questions like that!
Are we sure he even noticed?
this is a disgusting over reach.
and no its only normal to write the ticket , not report them for not buckling up the child,
by the way this is exactly the policing BLM wants .
shes not a mandatory reported
Disgusting to see that happening.
Child services over lack of car seat?
And felony charges for not calling them over a summary traffic violation?
If thats what the brainless people want, they better enjoy zero officer discretion for every jot and tittle they have wrong with their vehicle, paperwork, windshield obstructions... the vehicle code is a very large book and it hurts when you get whacked with it.
EDIT - Further articles show it wasnt a simple matter of a summary violation. The mother was in possession of drugs for the first traffic stop, and the officer is on video saying he didn't feel like calling child services. Keeping the original post up for transparency.
There is slightly more to the story.
The retarded media is attempting to equate the crash with the officer's actions, when the two are completely separate and distinct events.
This is still insane. It's a perfect example of how big government screws everything up. I would also note, you would do well to remember that prosecuting attorneys in urban centers are by and large activists, and on the Democrat party payroll. Many are directly funded by Soros. They are not your friend, and they salivate at the chance to hang you out to dry for their street cred.
Most lawyers are scum, and most lawyers tend to be far-left activists. There is something about the "profession" that drives people in that direction.
Many of my classmates from law school are now in prosecutorial positions, and I've found that power goes to their head.
They seem to be anywhere they name them.
Good point. I looked it up and it looks to me like the Florida law applies to "any person" so she just confessed to the same felony he's charged with.
Add to that, the friend and the girl's father admitted that they illegally recorded a conversation with Officer Williams, so that's 1 felony for Officer Williams, 1 for the father (and he just got out of jail and was turning his life around, too) and 2 for Kelly Schwartz.
True, she has no first hand knowledge of the incident and was just going on what the mother said.
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Yeah ok.. drugs in the car, likely cracked out mom, no car seat.. made the statement that he just "didn't want to deal with CPS" (meaning he knew he should have and didn't).
I'm not in the camp that he was just "cutting her a break" anymore..
Yes the original article failed to mention the lovely mother was found with drugs and a kid in the car and Williams actually stated himself that he wasn't going to call child services. That buries him because he indicated he knew it was necessarily and chose not to.
I take back my less advised previous statements.
I can tell you this, in my day if some prosecutor tried pulling this B.S. Every city, county, and state cop would immediately take a keen interest in the prosecutors driving habits.
In Florida, it's DCF- Department of Children and Families-
Yeah, He should have called them (and waited on the phone for the 45 minutes it takes them to get you off hold ) and spoken to one of their apathetic call takers, but he cut that corner, and it's costing him;
Having said that, after nearly 30 years of dealing with DCF (which used to be called HRS) I can tell you that they would have done exactly NOTHING, either on the scene or later other than maybe a home visit, which would have resulted in more nothing;
To link the kid's death, which is obviously tragic, to the traffic stop a month before, though, is beyond a stretch; The Mom owns this one, and to a certain extent, so does the father (who was in jail himself) for being dirtbags.....
The cop , for lack of making a phone call ( which make no mistake, he should have, not for the car seat, but for the dope) will see more jail time than the mother in this......
And that's total bull****.
Ours was, back in the 80's Florida had a fad on renaming streets in predominantly black sections of town to MLK Blvd.
Ours was good for homicides,sexual assaults, domestic violence, bar fights and traffic fatalities usually involving D.U.I.
Yeah, the article I read didn't mention that. He is toast. And he deserves it if the reports true.
The mom is at fault, for sure.. And DCF probably would have done nothing like you said, but the law is pretty clear and very well communicated that as public officials, we are MANDATORY reporters, and this is by law at least in my state. If they choose to do nothing, that is on them..
He could have made an attempt to advocate for that kid and didn't.
Criminal charges for the death? Eh..
Criminal charges for violating whatever statute makes him a mandatory reporter? Definitely.
MLK is also State Road 82 and is the conduit directly into downtown (which is pretty nice, the downtown) and like most , if not all MLK's, it's in the high crime area; just off MLK is where FMPD had their last officer shot and killed.
I detested DCF their personnel were worse than useless. And would simply refuse to act unless forced to.
One case a juvenile with a lengthy criminal record did a home
invasion on a 75 year old guy and beat him so badly he was in a coma.when I arrested him the DCF worker refused to come process him and instead tried to tell me to simply release him to his family. I called the State attorney who called DCF and demanded they take the kid into custody. Which they did.
Another case, same DCF worker, repeatedly receives complaints from a teenage girl that her father is molesting her for years. She not only does nothing but insists the family remain together.
Until the night mommy came home unexpectedly and caught daddy doing the deed.
OH and the girl had an infant, guess who testing revealed the daddy to be?
Yeah, I did my best to stay the hell away from Fort Meyers.
Arizona CPS/DCS was/is no better when it comes to lazy caseworkers.
I just read the other story, it is so touching that the daddy is now dedicating his life to fighting for the baby. He is never going to stop. (Until he gets paid)
He and his girlfriend both knew that mommy was a drug addict (like them) but never did anything to try and protect the baby before.
Of course not. Nobody is accountable for anything ...... except the police !!!!
Who they gonna blame when they're defunded
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My main point was, "...stupid people automatically bear no responsibility whatsoever for failing to protect their own child? My guess is even if he had reported it, they would have failed to secure the child the next time anyway." Yes, the dereliction of duty comment was a bit much, I agree in retrospect and apologize.
Conversely, had he tried to arrest her and in typical tweaker fashion she twisted off, he had to fight her, her abused heart gave out in a fit of excited delirium and her sorry ass dropped dead. The headline would read:
“Police Officer murders young mother in front of her child for a seat belt violation.”
Sounds like a parenting problem not a policing problem. Of course who knows in this day and age that’s probably their job too.
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A snippet from AL Code shows a different view of responsibility...
(c) No provision of this section shall be construed as creating any duty, standard of care, right, or liability between parent and child that is not recognized under the laws of the State of Alabama as they presently exist, or may, at any time in the future, be constituted by statute or decision.
1- unless they took her child, she has shown herself to be a great disregarder off laws.
2- dad is pissed so he’s making waves
3- what’s his story of the mom was considered the best option for the child
4 - that prosecutor’s decision sucks balls unless she goes after the girlfriend and dad if they knew of the incident.
Apparently ANYONE can be charged. not from the state code, but if true....
More like dad sees a payout coming his way. He knew what the mom was like and did nothing about it.
Now he will play the grieving dad to jack up the payout.
So. Let’s see. From now on every person whose kid isnt in aseat is going to get a ticket and a call to CPS. Now most likely CPS won’t do squat, but wanna bet people are going to rail on and on about how cops just can’t understand being poor and all the other I’m a victim crap...
Florida is a 2 party consent state for recording. OOPS!
I think every state has a horrible child protective service. They never remove kids who need removing and remove those who actually should stay with the family. It’s completely backwards.