What are the ramifications when the government intervenes to place legal barriers between a parent and his or her child? Parental rights are a hot button topic in Texas. Where most parents find consensus is in the idea that biological parents have a fundamental right to raise their child as the parents see fit. As one Tarrant County Family Court judge recently told me, the right to raise children in peace and without government interference is the most fundamental liberty we as Americans have. I agree with Judge Kim.

Parental rights have been on my mind as I continue my research into likely obstruction of justice committed by members of the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office. One intake attorney, when trying to do a favor for a wealthy and well-connected family, ran into a barrier. The peace officer whom he was placing pressure on believed in parental rights. The officer believed that children have the right to know their father and mother. 

To work around this moral barrier, the intake attorney began digging, according the DA. In the spring of 2019, the intake attorney realized that the peace officer could be compelled to aid the DA’s efforts to disrupt an ongoing legal matter that I am, at the moment, not allowed to describe. This matter is not a lawsuit, as some commentators have assumed.

Unanswered phone calls to a middle-aged man who was hiding a small child in his home were used as grounds to force the peace officer to sign an arrest warrant. Even in a state that reveres parental rights, there are legal workarounds that can allow the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office to place barriers between children and loving parents.

The Tarrant County District Attorney’s office should not be in the business of separating small children from loving parents. The TCDA’s office should not be in the business of strong-arming peace officer as a favor to wealthy and well-connected families. When our county-level prosecutors use their resources to separate families simply because they were asked to do so by well-connected individuals, it undermines the credibility of every case they prosecute.  

Edward Brown writes about music, arts, and news for a variety of publications. He’s an award-winning writer for the Fort Worth Weekly and volunteers for numerous Fort Worth nonprofits. He regularly contributes to Visit Fort Worth and Madeworthy Magazine. 

Abbott

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