Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA Late Wednesday, September 4, the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma officially responded to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin's signing of the extradition order that makes way for Dusten Brown, the biological father of Veronica Brown, to be arrested and sent to South Carolina to face a "custodial interference" charge.
“The civil rights of both Dusten and Veronica Brown are being ignored.”
Acting on the behalf of the Cherokee Nation, Chuck Hoskin, Jr. called the custodial interference charge an "illegitimate" charge. He writes of Brown's not complying with a South Carolina family court order to transfer Veronica over to the non-Native adoptive couple:
“ all parties involved knew that Dusten was out of state serving his country at National Guard duty, and thus was unable to comply with the order.”
Below is the complete statement received by the Native News Network from the Cherokee Nation:
We are unspeakably saddened that Governor Fallin chose to sign the extradition warrant of Dusten Brown and subject him to arrest. This illegitimate charge stems from allegations that Dusten did not appear for a court ordered meeting in South Carolina, when all parties involved knew that Dusten was out of state serving his country at National Guard duty, and thus unable to comply with the order.
We feel that the governor has failed in her duty to protect our most vulnerable citizens, which is exactly what Veronica Brown is a minor child and citizen of the great state of Oklahoma and the Cherokee Nation. We all continue to pray that a court will determine what is in Veronica's best interests, which has yet to happen.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court has stayed the transfer of custody of Veronica Brown, and even with this knowledge, Governor Fallin has hastily inserted herself into the judicial process as Dusten seeks his due process. Instead of allowing the courts to decide this case, Governor Fallin has used her authority to attempt to coerce Mr. Brown into handing over his daughter. The civil rights of both Dusten and Veronica Brown are being ignored. Dusten has the right to due process, and the right to object to the unethical adoption that already took his daughter away once. The events of today, and the events that have unfolded over the past four years should frighten every parent, and more specifically, every single father in Oklahoma.
Additionally, Governor Fallin has issued a statement that contains false information about Mr. Brown, knowing full well that Mr. Brown, who is bound by a court's gag order, cannot respond and defend himself in the media. This is unacceptable and Oklahomans will not forget.
We urge those who support father's rights and tribal rights, to contact the governor's office to voice their displeasure with this unnecessary overreach in authority. Please keep Dusten, Veronica and the entire Brown family in your prayers.
Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin, Jr.
posted September 5, 2013 6:00 am edt