A New Jersey couple is fighting to get custody of their 9-month-old son after he was separated from them following their encounter with cops at a North Carolina traffic stop, N.J. Advance Media reported.
On Dec. 3, Raymond Sykes and Kaila Boulware and their son, Truth, were en route to visit family when they were pulled over for a vehicle that was reportedly “being driven in a manner, place and time that was suspicious,” per the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department. Law enforcement claimed their car’s license plate was also not registered, their car smelled like marijuana, and they had a broken taiilight.
As deputies failed to carry body or dash cameras to the scene of the crime, the couple’s reports have since conflicted with that of the authorities.
According to Boulware, she and her boyfriend were stopped for having a white taillight and were later subjected to impromper treatment from deputies who pulled guns on them, and attempted to beat Sykes up with a baton after he inquired about whether it was unlawful for cops to search the car.
Authorities, however, interpreted the couple’s response as their refusal to comply with cops’ orders. “An odor of marijuana was detected coming from the vehicle and the occupants were asked to exit the van so a search could be performed, which they refused. When deputies were attempting to remove Sykes from the vehicle, he assaulted a deputy by hitting him with his fist, which caused his arrest. A search of the vehicle was conducted, which revealed marijuana and drug paraphernalia,” the department said.
Boulware was arrested for traffic violations, and Sykes was detained for resisting a public officer and assault of a government official. Their son was taken by Montgomery County Social Services, and is currently in the custody of Skye’s mother.
The couple — was has since been released — is now fighting for custody of Truth as they attempt to clear their names of the traffic violations. Unfortunately, the battle hasn’t been easy. Boulware and Skye delivered their son via home birth and were forced to prove their identity via a DNA test, but they were still denied custody.
”At this point, we feel very confused,” Boulware said. “We feel very disheartened about this.”