Someone hateful has targeted my children tonight. The lowest moment of my life as a leader. Pray for us. We’re safe, but deeply humiliated.— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) August 1, 2018
Progressive journalist and activist Shaun King said his children have been targeted as an “anonymous troll” made a false complaint about child abuse to the New York’s Department of Child Services.
King took to Twitter and informed his followers that he was excited to attend a musical in which his daughter was a lead. However, just 20 minutes before the performance, a guard at the apartment complex where he lived called and told him that someone was at their door from childcare services.
The call rang alarm bells for King because he said he has never hired childcare for his children. He then inquired further and asked the guard about the person. The guard then said that it was a woman who wanted to talk to him about his children’s childcare.
The activist told the doorman to pass on the phone to the lady and the ensuing conversation left King shocked.
The woman had all the details about King’s children and knew them by name and she demanded that she wanted to meet his kids.
She then added that she was from New York Child Services (ACS) and was following up on an anonymous complaint that not only accused King and his wife of abandoning their children, but also said they allowed them to do drugs.
The woman then said that she wanted to see his children in his absence because she believed they were in danger.
The activist was left completely speechless and shocked to the core at the degree of the complaint. He then asked the woman to connect him with a supervisor but that also didn’t help because the supervisor threatened if they weren’t allowed to see his kids, they would have to contact police.
King did his best to explain to the supervisor that the complaint had no grounds and it was nothing but a cruel prank — but all efforts went in vain.
The journalist said he then told the supervisor, “Under no circumstances will anybody from the NYPD or New York Children's Services be speaking to anybody in my family. I'm going to have to be in violation of New York law, but you will not force my children to participate in a single interview over a false complaint. PERIOD.”
King was later informed if he doesn’t allow the agency to interview his children alone, they could petition a judge to have the NYPD gain forceful entry into his home. He also said the fact that the entire process was being carried out because of a false and anonymous report is just completely “outrageous.”
The New York Child Services (ACS) said they don’t have any information about the person who filed the complaint against King and nor do they have his contact number.
King’s wife, Rai King, released a public statement in wake of the incident and said she wished her husband had a “regular job” but with time she has understood that working for other people’s rights and aggressively seeking justice “is the calling of his life.”
However, she completely rejects the toll has taken on her family. She said she is a former teacher and she knows there are many children out there who actually need help but some “white supremacist or disgruntled person” wasted the city’s resources over a false complaint.
Rai then said she would not even try to explain the accusations made in the complaint because they are incredibly false. She then said her family was targeted just because of the nature of King’s work.
“I want our systems to protect children. I’ve spent my life doing this very thing. I also want our systems to be just and efficient so that they are better able to move swiftly when credible claims are levied,” she said in the statement.
King is accustomed to using his social media presence to raise voice on social issues that don’t get much media coverage. Using the power of social media, he is spearheading an effort to bring justice to people. He deserves to be commended for doing so and not being targeted.
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