California Grandmother Arrested for Bringing Toys to Detained Migrant Children
Elizabeth DeCou, 66, a grandmother of four, and Jesse Ingber, 27, were among 35 volunteers who caravanned to the Baptist Child and Family Services shelter on Pennsylvania Avenue Sunday in Fairfield to sing lullabies to kids in Spanish and deliver toys on July 1.
However, Fairfield police officers and a security guard for the shelter blocked their entry into the building and asked them to leave the premises.
Video, which was posted to Facebook on Monday on the Facebook page Solidaridad con los Ninos shows DeCou approaching the shelter holding a basket of toys in her arms to give to the children inside while volunteers sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" in Spanish.
" Are you going to step back on the sidewalk or no?"
"No," DeCou, a registered nurse and child abuse victim advocate from Oakland, replies.
Officers then take DeCou away in handcuffs as volunteers from the church continue to sing to the children inside.
DeCou said she wanted to ask questions about the well-being of the children inside of the facility but that the officers refused to reveal any information and only replied with asking her to leave.
"We have facilities nearby where children are being held, but we won’t know if they’ve been recently separated from their parents," she told Mercury News.
"We’re not allowed any information as to the status of these children and if they’re safe."
DeCou says the issue is personal to her since her father escaped Nazi Germany at the age of 13 when other family mambers didn't make it out alive.
"I’m so glad he’s not alive today to see this,” she explained.
“I’m so sorry to see what is happening to this country."
The shelter has been identified as one of the facilities used to house migrant children detained after being separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border.
DeCou spend six hours in jail after being charged with misdemeanor trespassing.
Her next court date is set for July 30.