By Robert J Hansen
Santa Cruz Mayor Sonja Brunner and Supervisor Ryan Coonerty held a press conference Thursday about Maya and Sebastian, two children forcibly taken from their grandmother’s home to a reunification center.
The full press conference can be seen here.
“Mayor Brunner and I, like the rest of the community were shocked and horrified, watching the video of Maya and Sebastian Laing, being ripped out of their grandmother’s home by a private transportation company linked to a for-profit reunification center in Los Angeles,” Connery said while standing in front of a group of friends and family.
“Anyone who saw that Instagram post was deeply disturbed and when it was brought before me, it was absolutely horrifying at the hands on removal and the trauma that was being experienced at that moment ” Mayor Brunner said.
The Mayor and Supervisor said they were contacted by the community who were shocked this has happened in Santa Cruz.
“Watching that and having no control over it was really hard,” Brunner said.
Both made clear that the City nor the County had anything to do with the reunification center or the transportation company as the orders are given by judges.
“We are here today to talk about what we see as policy failures of the treatment of Maya and Sebastian,” Coonerty said. “We have an obligation to speak for them and other kids who are potentially at risk.”
Coonerty said the violent force used by the transportation company was completely unacceptable and that they are available to support the family having gone through this traumatic experience.
Both Mayor Brunner and Supervisor Coonerty said they will be looking into ways to stop this kind of incident from happening again in the future.
“This should never ever happen in Santa Cruz or anywhere else ever,” Connerty said.