The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil,
but because of those who look on and do nothing.

~~~ Albert Einstein



Monday, January 02, 2006

Kelsey Briggs

Every now and then, I read a story that really touches me. Not just because it's something I would normally write about, and not just because I'm a mother. It doesn't make the other stories I write any less important to me, but it does become something that consumes my time, that I can't just let go off.
The first time I read an Oklahoma news report mentioning a little girl named Kelsey Briggs, I knew it was one of those stories. What I didn't know was that this story would take me so completely off guard. And yet, it did. When I was first questioned about how I found the story, I didn't realize who was asking, or that the story would evolve into what it has. All I knew was that over in Oklahoma, a little girl had been beaten to death, despite a family doing everything they could to save her.
Kelsey would have celebrated her 3rd birthday on December 28th, but instead- after nine months of persistent abuse, broken bones, and unforgiving bruises- the little blond girl died a few months ago on October 11th.
For the family that loved her, her death has been a tragic reminder of the failures of the child protection laws in Oklahoma. While many would suffer in silence, Kathie Briggs- Kelsey's grandmother, has given her voice to demand justice not only for Kelsey, but for those children who remain in a broken system.

Another blogger, who you may recall previously took up the story on behalf of Kelsey and her family, has written an excellent post from conversations he has had with the family. Please take a moment to read it- The Uncooperative Blogger -The Kelsey Briggs Story II.

On the 22 of December, I posted this, detailing Mike Porter making bail. I also indicated that there was more developing in the story, and although I posted a link to the video on it, I could not bring myself to post the information at that moment. It may seem strange that despite so many of my posts being on the topic, I for the first time found myself staggering for the words to tell the news. Even now, I'm torn at it. For those that didn't view the video, here again is the link.
Many of you will recall that detailed in some of the reports about Kelsey's condition, there was bruising on her legs mentioned. It now seems that the bruising was the result of sexual abuse. I'm sure that many like myself had suspicion's along that lines, but each of us where hoping that there was some other explanation for it. The video link above leads viewers to the conclusion that LE believes at this time that two year old Kelsey may have been sexually abused with an object such as a hair brush, which is what caused some of the internal bleeding.
I can not imagine the pain this news must have brought to the family, or how much more painful it was when it was announced the very day Mike Porter walked out of jail on $250,000 bail- just a forth of what his bail was originally set at.
This is by far one of the most difficult cases I have written about. It highlights every aspect of what is wrong with a system that would return this child to the Porter's home. It leaves us questioning a possible corrupt judge who overlooked all the signs and did not take the best interests of Kelsey into consideration. And it clearly shows how difficult it was for the family who loved Kelsey to fight to protect her against the system. We know that there is a Governor who still is lacking in his presence to the media on this case- despite actually being related to the family. So very many failed Kelsey, and now it is left to us to stand beside the family in their mourning and demand justice against all who did fail her. We need to ask why Mike Porter was allowed to walk out on bail, and why charges still have not been brought against Raye Dawn. And most importantly, we need to show our support to a soldier and his family in demanding justice.

You may follow my coverage of Kelsey's story in the following links: , and for Kelsey's story, and stories of others: ,

D. Maria said...

Between your post and the Uncooperative Bloggers post on Kelsey...I couldn't help but cry hysterically!!

What a travesty of justice!! Lance is overseas fighting for this great country while his home state allowed his beautiful little girl to be molested & murdered!!

They need to also charge the so-called mother with murder and anyone else who was a silent partner.

Please keep us updated on this story.

Kelsey you didn't die in vain. Godspeed.

LP said...

I'm curious as to what the Kelsey Briggs law would say and what it would actually do. Do you know of anywhere I can find that?

I'm against torture but I find it appalling that we run to the rescue of terrorists who are saying they are being tortured but the institution set up to protect children can't because of the red tape, paperwork, bad calls, understaffed, underpaid, etc.

This may be a horrible thing of me to want but the mother needs to have the child she is pregnant with now taken away asap and she needs to be charged because she let it continue. You need a license to drive a car yet any stupid idiot can have children. (yeah constitutional rights I know)

Anonymous said...

The Kelsey Briggs law proposal:

Provisions of the proposed Kelsey Briggs Child Protection Act include:

-- Reducing caseloads and providing more education and training for child protection case workers at the Department of Human Services.

-- Authorizing the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to investigate evidence of child abuse.

-- Providing more and better information to judges and requiring them to explain and make public their reasons for child placement rulings.

-- Authorizing DHS to seek new hearings on child placement decisions.

-- Providing parents with more information about DHS decisions and case records.