PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haitian police detained 10 Americans on Saturday on suspicion of trying to take children out of the country without proper papers amid the chaos following the Jan. 12 earthquake.
The Americans were taken into custody with about 33 children while trying to reach the Dominican Republic, said Communications Minister Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue.
“There are allegations of child trafficking and that really couldn’t be farther from the truth,” said Sean Lankford of Meridian, Idaho, whose wife and daughter were among those detained.
“They were going to get the medical attention they needed. They were going to get the clothes and the food and the love they need to be healthy and to start recovering from the tragedy that just happened,” Lankford told The Associated Press.
State Department officials confirmed that U.S. citizens were arrested while applying to enter the Dominican Republic with a group of children. They said consular officials were seeking access to the detained Americans and were providing all possible assistance. The official spoke anonymously because discussion of the case was not authorized.
The group had intended to take the children to an orphanage they had set up at a hotel in the Dominican Republic, and thought they had the proper paperwork, said Lankford.
Idaho friends and relatives have been in touch with those detained via text message and phone calls, he said.
Haiti has imposed new controls on adoptions since the Jan. 12 earthquake. The government now requires Prime Minister Max Bellerive to personally authorize the departure of any child as a way to prevent child trafficking.
Officials estimate that thousands of kids have been separated from their parents or orphaned by the earthquake.
Five of the 10 being held are from the Central Valley Baptist Church in Meridian, and the others are from the East Side Baptist Church in Twin Falls, Idaho.
“Of course I’m concerned for my wife and my daughter,” he said. “They were hoping to make a difference and be able to help those kids.”
Trump-loving “hate group” leader struggles to defend chauvinism during CNN interview on Portland chaos
Portland, Oregon on Saturday was the scene of another far-right mobilization by groups such as the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer.
Tarrio had traveled from Miami to take part in the far-right rally in Portland and appeared to be wearing body armor.
‘Go back to Harlem!’: Florida woman has n-word laced meltdown after bumping black woman’s shopping cart
On Saturday, the Atlanta Black Star reported an incident in Florida, in which a white woman screamed racial slurs at a black woman at a Publix supermarket in Miami after their shopping carts jostled each other.
After the woman allegedly banged into Nicki Johnson's cart, she refused to apologize, saying, "I didn't hit you with my cart, and f**k you, you f**king n****r."
Johnson whipped out her cell phone camera, and began recording the incident, saying "You, why don't you call me a n****r again?"
"You thinking I'm sorry?" snapped the woman. "Let me tell you something, I don't have to call you anything. Get away from me, I will call security and there are surveillance videos. Get away from me!"
‘I’m a nurse, what are you?’: Tennessee lawmaker humiliates anti-choice activists in brutal public grilling
Anti-choice activists in Tennessee were unprepared for the grilling they got from a Democratic Party lawmaker when making the case for a bill that would outlaw abortion before many women knew they were pregnant.
One of the speakers in favor of the fetal heartbeat bill was Baptist Pastor Randy Davis, who was questioned by state Sen. Katrina Robinson (D-Memphis).
"How many women executive pastors do you have in your convention?" Robinson asked Davis. "Or senior pastors."
"None," Davis replied.
"So is it the same ideology that restricts access to women being able to lead a congregation that leads you all to support women not being able to make a medical decision about their body?" Robinson asked.