Diva Williams’ teen son wanted a summer youth job. Needing a health clearance in order to obtain his working papers, Williams made an appointment with their regular doctor at the neighborhood health clinic. When they arrived at the appointment in May 2005, the family found his regular primary care provider had retired.
Dr. Jeannie A. Samedi was assigned to administer the medical exam. “She didn’t wash her hands. My mother, being a nurse and coming from a background of janitors and nurses, I knew that she had to wash her hands,” said Williams. “She appeared to be very unkempt. Her hands were unclean, her fingernails were dirty and she looked disheveled. I asked her to wash her hands before she examined my son, but she didn’t. She got offended.”
When Dr. Samedi began touching her son’s face and neck without washing her hands, Williams interrupted the exam and told her son to get dressed. “I asked her to give me a letter stating he had been seen and she didn’t find anything wrong with him,” said Williams. She scribbled a note and gave it to Williams. Days later, Williams issued a formal complaint against Dr. Samedi.
In the meantime, Williams was contacted by ACS and informed that Dr. Samedi had written in her case history of the family medical background that Williams’ son had a heart murmur. Williams had disclosed that she is the one who had a heart murmur, not her son. Dr. Samedi had also written that her son’s alleged heart murmur would cause him to die of a heart attack without proper medical treatment.
Within days of Dr. Samedi filing the bogus medical and child abuse report, the family began getting several calls from various people claiming to work for ACS. Williams found herself charged with not providing food, clothing, shelter and an education for her son and daughter.
By June, ACS had filed a complaint in family court. In August, Williams sued 14 defendants in federal court for the filed false medical report and its aftermath, including Dr. Samedi, various ACS personnel and Manhattan Family Court Supervising Judge at the time Susan Knipps. According to Williams, none of them answered her federal complaint and she was issued Certificates of Default.
On Feb. 3, 2006, ACS and police broke into her apartment, and arrested Williams and her son and daughter and took them by force to family court.
Williams described the chaotic scene as frightening. Numerous police officers came to her home announcing they were a SWAT team — with guns, Tasers, bats, 9mms — to have her son physically removed. Williams took pictures.
Williams said her son was held hostage in Bellevue Hospital. “He tried to run out. He busted himself in the face because the door (when you get into pediatrics) locks. You can’t get out of the hospital,” said Williams. “They only let him leave after they transferred him to the Children’s Center.”
Williams said during the process, she was given a prescription for 2 pills that she was supposed to take together. “I looked them up. One speeds the heart up, one slows the heart down,” said Williams. “Guess what would have happened to him if I gave them to him? He would have died, and then they would have charged me with manslaughter.”
In addition, Williams said a doctor from Bellevue came to family court, got on the stand and testified she was his doctor. “She came in and testified at a family court hearing without me or my son being there that she is his doctor. We had never seen this woman before a day in our lives,” said Williams. “And the doctor said she had found him to have a heart murmur disease and needed to be immediately operated on.” Williams opined, “That was so that they could solidify them breaking into my house.”
So on Feb. 6, 2006, Judge Susan Knipps issued a warrant against Williams’ son for absconding Knipps’ court-ordered medical appointment. “A warrant issued for my arrest for not taking him to get a heart transplant,” said Williams. “There is still a warrant pending for his arrest for not submitting to a heart transplant exam.”
According to Williams, on Feb. 9, police broke into her apartment, searched it and changed the locks.
Williams said her son was kidnapped again and taken to the Children’s Center on First Avenue where he simply walked out. “He walked out the front door and they haven’t seen or looked for him since,” said Williams. “It was intense. There were numerous times when they sent the police to kidnap him and I had him hide out. This went on until he was 18. To this day, there is still a warrant on file for his arrest. He’s now 23.”
According to Williams, the same precinct that was involved in arresting her son to take him to family court have since engaged in a campaign to harass him with numerous arrests. “The same precinct started arresting him for criminal trespass in his own building. My son, to date, has been arrested more than 50 times,” said Williams. “This is the same kid that was supposed to have heart disease.”
“He’s still getting arrested for coming in his own apartment. I have video of him getting arrested for just standing in the street, minding his business. It just happened after Thanksgiving. Same cops. They don’t even identify themselves. They just walk up to him. It’s on YouTube of my son being arrested and handcuffed. He’s just standing there with his friends talking. They came out of nowhere, no badges, and put handcuffs on him. Just him. Put him in handcuffs, put him in the car and held him for an hour,” said Williams. “He’s still being violated by these very people that said he was going to drop dead and needed a heart transplant.”
To this day, no one has operated on her son’s heart. Dr. Samedi has left the state. “Yet, my name is still in the system as being an unfit parent,” said Williams, “a person who did not give their children food, clothing and shelter.”