'Extreme' and 'abnormal': 5 Black children remain in state custody after traffic stop over tinted windows

'Extreme' and 'abnormal': 5 Black children remain in state custody after traffic stop over tinted windows

Five Black children, including an infant, were taken into custody after their parents were pulled over in rural Tennessee over tinted windows, and the Georgia family remained separated nearly a month later, Tennessee Lookout reports.

Bianca Clayborne and Deonte Williams were driving to Chicago on Feb. 17 to attend a funeral when Tennessee Highway Patrol pulled them over in Coffee County for having "dark tint[ed windows] and traveling in the left lane while not actively passing," the report said.

Williams was arrested and Clayborne cited after a trooper found a small amount of cannabis during a search of their Dodge Durango.

Clayborne said she was told she could leave with her children but was also given the option to follow the patrol car to the Coffee County Justice Center to bail out Williams.

But the children, including the breastfeeding baby who is now four months old, were taken from Clayborne after she'd been waiting at the criminal justice center for six hours.

The state's Department of Child Services had requested and received an emergency court order to take the children into custody, the report said.

The family's attorneys described the DCS actions as "extreme" and "abnormal," and suggested race played a role in how they were treated.

Nashville attorney Jamaal Boykin is representing the family.

A DCS spokesperson issued a statement obtained by Tennessee Lookout that said the agency is prohibited from releasing details about the ongoing case, which remains ongoing in Coffee County Juvenile Court.

"DCS does not remove children from custody, only the courts have the authority to make that ruling," the statement said.

"DCS and law enforcement follow protocol for collecting evidence," the statement said. "Those findings are then presented to the court. In this instance, the evidence resulted in the court placing children in DCS custody."

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