What The Oklahoma?

Charleston County, S.C. Sheriff Al Cannon and S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley are using taxpayer resources to send three law enforcement agents to Oklahoma as a “precautionary measure” in a contentious adoption case. Two Charleston County deputies and one S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) agent are traveling to Oklahama’s capital…

Charleston County, S.C. Sheriff Al Cannon and S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley are using taxpayer resources to send three law enforcement agents to Oklahoma as a “precautionary measure” in a contentious adoption case.

Two Charleston County deputies and one S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) agent are traveling to Oklahama’s capital city on the taxpayer dime in connection with the “Baby Veronica” case, in which two Palmetto State parents – Matt and Melanie Capobianco – are battling for custody with the three-year-old child’s father, Dusten Brown.

News of the trip was first reported by The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier. Opponents of such expensive, high-level government intervention in the case were incredulous.

“I am sure that there is a four-year-old child in a bad part of North Charleston who would very much like to be able to play outside but can’t due to gang activity – and would very much appreciate these deputies or SLED agent patrolling her neighborhood instead of vacationing to Oklahoma,” one source told us.

We agree … no matter what you think of this case, wasting resources like this is ridiculous. These officers have no jurisdiction in Oklahoma, and Sheriff Cannon himself has admitted there are no new developments in the case which would warrant their trip.

Brown – a member of the Cherokee tribe – invoked the Indian Child Welfare Act to gain custody of his daughter in 2011 after he previously relinquished parental rights. However the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Brown’s use of the law this summer, and the S.C. Supreme Court has ruled that the adoption of the girl should proceed.

Brown has refused to turn over his daughter, though.

Our associate opinion editor Amy Lazenby has addressed the “Baby Veronica” issue once before – arguing that the Capobiancos should be permitted to adopt the child. To read her piece, click here.

Haley has issued an extradition request for Brown to Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin – seeking to bring him to South Carolina to face felony custodial interference charges. Fallin has said she would not act on the order prior to a September 12 hearing on the case in Oklahoma.

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a face in the crowd August 30, 2013 at 1:28 pm

I think the public officials sending them there have seen too many Pinkerton and Texas Ranger movies.

Misstate August 30, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Is John Wayne leading this posse to take back that little injun girl to her rightful and lawful new parents who paid good money for her?

Jesus H. Christ! August 30, 2013 at 1:59 pm

I imagine these deputies have a lot of time on their hands since Sheriff Cannon has announced his intention not to enforce laws that were passed by the South Carolina legislature.

Justme August 30, 2013 at 2:10 pm

If Eric holder will not do his job then someone has too. Holder should have stepped into this case long ago. I am glad we are sending people to oklahoma to fix this. A child was stolen from her parents in south Carolina by Indians for political gain. The Supreme court has ruled on this case. I wonder how Sic would feel if he was the adopted parent here. I can only think he want all resources used to get his little girl back. After all why pay taxes if the resources you are paying for are not there when you need them

guest August 30, 2013 at 2:37 pm

As I read it, the officers are not out there to bring the girl back but to grab the girl’s father ala-Dog the Bounty Hunter so they can bring him to face the custodial interference charges the sheriff brought. I certainly hope it isn’t to recreate the Elian Gonzalez snatching.
What a total waste of tax payer money doing special favors for people.

nitrat August 31, 2013 at 6:01 pm

The ‘Boeings’ bought this baby in Oklahoma. The bio father found out and started trying to get her back from them when she was 4 months old. The ‘Boeings’, like the adoptives in the Baby Jessica and Baby Richard cases from the 90s did not bother to TPR the dad lawfully. The SC supreme court admitted as much as few weeks ago when it unlawfully ordered the family court to terminate his rights without a hearing.
I see the usual evangelical adoption industry internet trolls are out in their usual force with lies and dissembling.
Everybody remember Mark Sanford and ‘C Street’? This evangelical adoption industry is connected to The Family/The Fellowship/C Street and therefore has amazing political influence. That does not make it anything other than what it is – child trafficking.

Bonnie Cleaveland August 30, 2013 at 2:15 pm

Actually, I think the SC deputies are really important. It’s not really about providing security for this one SC Couple. SCOTUS and SC Supreme Court and SC Family Courts have ruled. Nothing left to litigate, but Brown won’t follow the court order. At some point, you have to use law enforcement – or other states will simply disregard the law. Hell, I think already lots of people have figured out that you can lose in court and simply refuse to comply, with little consequences.

T_Paine August 30, 2013 at 4:13 pm

it’s not at all important that Brown won’t comply with the court order…it’s that Oklahoma’s Gov. Fallin is telling Gov. Nookie to talk to the hand…until their court system has ruled on the matter at least

Jesus H. Christ! August 30, 2013 at 6:30 pm

It’s an interesting tactic. Accept SC jurisdiction, litigate all the way to the US Supreme Court, lose, and then disregard the SC court orders and file in Oklahoma.

I don’t have any strong feelings about the relative merits of Brown vs. the Capobiancos, but I don’t quite understand what the hell the OK courts are doing dicking around with this.

Polyphemos August 31, 2013 at 12:20 am

Cherokees, even when on the reservation, vote.

Shay August 30, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Dusten Brown is only 3% Cherokee, and his daughter is 1.5%. Veronica gets her coloring from her mother, who is Mexican – she’s probably a lot more Aztec than Cherokee, but nobody’s talking about preserving her Aztec heritage. There are probably a lot of REAL Cherokee children who could use the time and resources the tribe has wasted on this case.

Same ol' Same ol' August 30, 2013 at 6:55 pm

How much do you need? I have Cherokee in my family. Maybe I can open a casino, or get some gubmint gimme…

shay August 31, 2013 at 6:24 am

The Cherokee Nation doesn’t require a blood percentage – you just have to show that you have a single ancestor on a roll compiled 100+ years ago. Go for it!

Boz Martin August 31, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Rolls are now closed for Eastern Band of Cherokee out of NC. So no luck there. I have nothing but scorn for those who claim Indian blood just to get the gubmint cheese. You have to feel it in you heart and totally self-identify. I’m against Indian casinos in general, and that is not in the works for any tribe or group with which I’m involved.

Andrew August 30, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Sounds like the author has an agenda here? The fact is that enforcing court judgments and/or executing extradition warrants are both well within the job scope for both Sheriff’s deputies and SCLED officials. Every states wants to see its judgments enforced (and under the Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause other states are required to respect such judgments), so sending officers to enable the effective, lawful resolution of this case is certainly reasonable

Mike at the Beach August 31, 2013 at 12:57 am

Not to mention there are several ways to quickly (and legally) obtain temporary jurisdiction when working most interstate cases…

nitrat August 31, 2013 at 5:54 pm

This is NOT state to state.
This is a Federal Treaty issue with the Cherokee Nation.
Just because Antonin Scalia wanted a do-over on an ICWA case he did years ago, a new precedent, may not mean quite so much when it’s considered in those terms.

I'llBeYourHuckleberry August 30, 2013 at 3:14 pm

Where’s Walker, Texas Ranger when you need him?

Same ol' Same ol' August 30, 2013 at 6:58 pm

He’s down in the Virgin Islands. They’ll now be known as just “The Islands”.

ThreePalms August 30, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Your Source who characterizes the travel of Deputies and SLED Agents in this case as “vacationing in Oklahoma” is disingenuous at best. Your story suggests that they should travel on their own dimes? We all know that we do not pat these guys much to begin with. We are, no doubt, sending them a thousand miles from their families and most likely asking them to stay in some cheap hotel out in the middle of nowhere, Oklahoma for several days. Yeah. Great vacation. Your libertarian beliefs that governments should not have or spend any money has clouded your judgement You are on the wrong side of this story.

Boz Martin August 30, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Going against many others of Indian descent and agree with Sic and Amy on this one. I don’t like to argue it from a “blood quantum” POV, however, as even DNA results are not good for determining degree of “Indian blood” in a great many cases, and such matters are best left to tribal leadership. There are overwhelming factors in this case that prove the girl would be better off with her adoptive parents.

Libb August 30, 2013 at 10:51 pm

And just what, pray tell, are these “overwhelming factors”? Sounds like you’ve only read the adoption machine side of the story.This was an unethical adoption from the git-go and this little girl belongs with her father.

Polyphemos August 31, 2013 at 12:16 am

Since the outcome of this could well effect a lot of people and a couple of careers, could you please say what the “unethical adoption from the git-go” was, and please give two sources? I’m very serious. This is a fantastic story and I want to now about it.

nitrat August 31, 2013 at 5:32 pm

See my comment above. You need to disregard the ICWA/Native American part of this case. Dusten Brown was, by order of the SC supreme court, denied his opportunity to fight the termination of his parental rights

Boz Martin August 31, 2013 at 5:46 pm

The adoptive parents are the family she has known. Brown has not shown he’s truly able to care for her, and has in fact cause extremely stressful situation for a child by not respecting the rule of law. Law creates and sustains the extremely flawed reservation system. Thus those who choose to be bound by it cannot pick and choose. Again, I go against the grain. But I do agree the state of SC should not waste a penny on this.

nitrat August 31, 2013 at 6:14 pm

She’s been living with her father now pretty much as long as she lived with the baby buyers. She has not “known” the adoptive “parents” for nearly 2 years.
Boz, you look old enough to remember the Baby Jessica case in the Midwest in the 90s. When I first started hearing about this case, I thought of that. In ‘Jessica’ a mom gave/sold her baby to a couple. The dad learned about it a few months later and filed to get the child back based on lack of a legal TPR. The adoptive couple, like the ‘Boeings’, dragged the case out for close to 2 years, living all over the media the whole time, like the ‘Boeings’. The bio dad finally won his case and the child went to him and the bio-mom, with whom he had reconciled. She could have been with them from a few months. Now, of course, she does not remember the adoptives.
I’m not going to have an endless back and forth over this. I’ve pretty much said my piece about how differently the TPR has been handled in this case and the cases I worked with SCDSS. I’m not someone who likes some people to get special treatment and that’s what the SC supreme court has done.

Polyphemos September 1, 2013 at 8:10 pm

There is no doubt that family court is one of the most toxic, non-constitutional animals that ever existed. I had the opportunity to have been exposed to one, and will consider myself lucky not to have to ever be associated with one, again. Nevertheless, the IPCP beats the crap out of what we had before it, which was a group which passed judgement on whether parents were good or bad, depending on whether they were rich or not. A lot of childless, moderately well off parents went wanting, while the “group” sent children to their friends.

nitrat September 2, 2013 at 8:58 am

Sorry, you must not have looked very hard. Indian Country Today, mostly via the comment links, is where I have learned about the evangelical adoption industry. So, I have found volumes of information there that has not been touched on by the 2 pieces I have seen on this case here.
That is a vital factor in this case because they are the ones who appear to troll the internet from the Post and Courier to Washington Post to Tulsa World propagating the Christian adoption agenda and putting forth the dissembling, misinformation and lies that surround this case.

Polyphemos September 2, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Most of what you wrote is your interpretation of the facts. The facts much remain as reported.

nitrat September 3, 2013 at 8:40 am

I suggest you go to the Tulsa World. They have what appears to be a very objective ‘timeline’ of the events of this case.
And, if you have not read the first SC supreme court ruling, you should.

Polyphemos September 3, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Well said. Yes, you heard me right.

Libb August 31, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Please elaborate on why you think Dusten Brown is not a fit father.

Polyphemos September 1, 2013 at 8:11 pm

What do they say and who said it? I don’t follow urls on blogs anymore – too many viruses. Thank you.

GGG August 31, 2013 at 12:35 pm

Nikki got confused. She heard Indian, and thought dot, not feather. Oops

nitrat August 31, 2013 at 5:30 pm

As a former foster care worker who has prepared and presented Termination of Parental Rights cases in family court, I plan to write & submit something about how Dusten Brown was not afforded the equal opportunity to present his case against the termination of his parental rights the way that any parent of any child in SCDSS foster care custody is afforded. Even if they have raped or beaten their child within an inch of their lives, they have an opportunity to plead their case in court. The SC supreme court ordered the family court to TPR without giving Dusten Brown that opportunity. That is not right. He has been railroaded by the SC supreme court and family court judge Daniel Martin.
But, back to the point, Sheriff Cannon simply furthers my feelings that we should move beyond electing grandstanding sheriffs and solicitors if we expect the criminal justice system to operate in a fair and equitable manner…because one day, WE may be the one who is arrested and prosecuted for no good reason.
We have city councils/administrators hire our city chiefs of police and maybe county councils/administrators need to be hiring qualified sheriffs. Given the state of our judiciary, I haven’t decided how we should hire solicitors. Maybe, all the county councils/administrators in a judicial circuit should interview and hire. But, there is no accountability for sheriffs and solicitors now. None. Not with the voting public we have today.
Oh… I wonder if the SLED agent is the same one who investigated Sheriff Al when he beat the crap out of that restrained prisoner who led the Charleston deputies on a car chase. SLED thought that was worthy of a misdemeanor charge…so he could keep his job.

Curious September 1, 2013 at 3:46 pm

You conflate a lot of issues in this comment and in others on this post. This case is about what is best for this child, and the courts – all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court – have ruled on all of the evidence, which was presented multiple times, as well as on the law. Brown lost, but he is refusing to follow the rule of law. He is charged with felony custodial interference for refusing to give Veronica back to her lawful parents. He should come back to SC and face that charge and end this tug-of-war for which HE and his backers are responsible.

nitrat September 2, 2013 at 10:04 am

Sorry, life is complex and there are a lot of issues surrounding this case.
Brown did NOT lose. When this came back from the US supreme court, the SC supreme court did not give him the chance to lose because they ordered the family court to terminate his parental right s chance to present his case that his parental rights should not be terminated in a court of law.


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