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It seems like a trend is emerging in the form of authorities going after parents. For instance, in a new case out of Florida a mother was arrested on a felony charge after she let her 7-year-old son walk by himself to the local park. Dominic Gainey was stopped by someone while he walked and police were called to the Port St. Lucie park. Officers then brought Dominic home and charged Nicole Gainey with child neglect.
She had to post a $4,000 bond to get out of jail. Gainey says since her arrest, she has learned from the Department of Children and Families that the charge will likely be dropped. Gainey said she argued to police that her son always has a cell phone with him so she can check in on him. Officers felt she had put her son in danger, pointing out that numerous sex offenders live in the area.
Anna Kooiman pointed to two other recent cases that seem to highlight a criminalization of parenthood:
An Ohio dad was arrested last month and lost his job at McDonald's after his 8-year-old son turned up at a park. The boy was supposed to have boarded a church van, but skipped out, unbeknownst to his father.
In another case in South Carolina, a mother was arrested and spent 17 days in jail after she left her nine-year-old daughter to play at a popular neighborhood park while she went to work.
Mom Arrested & Sent to Jail for Letting Her Kids Play Outside in La Porte, Texas. According to Cooper she was sitting outside of her home in a lawn chair watching her children, ages 6 and 9, ride their motorized scooters in their cul-de-sac. The next she knew, police were there, handcuffing her, and taking her jail where she was forced to spend the night. Why? Because she was apparently endangering her children.
She told Click2Houston she was out there watching them the entire time, but police didn't want to hear it. Apparently they had received a call from a neighbor that the kids were out there unsupervised, and it was an orange jumpsuit for her. Eventually the charges against Cooper were dropped, thank goodness, but she says that's not good enough to make up for the humiliating and terrifying ordeal. She told the station, "My daughter had him (the police officer) around the leg saying, 'Please, please don't take my mom to jail. Please, she didn't do anything wrong.'" So she's suing the police department, and I hope she gets some justice.
Amanda was last seen near her family's residence in Fairfield, California on December 27, 1991.
She had been at a friend's house four doors down from her home when left her brother and a friend between 4:30 and 5:00 p.m. to ride her bicycle to another friend's house around the corner, eight doors from home.
Amanda never arrived and has not been seen again. Her bicycle was found abandoned a few blocks from her home later that evening.