Deandre Fitzgerald Green
  - March 20, 2010

How many children are going to have to die because CPS ignores calls or does nothing, before someone makes
the people NOT doing their jobs accountable? Family members of Deandre Green would like to know the answer
to that question, so would I.

Deandre's family described him as a lively boy who had in common with his father, a love of course and would
walk around his home singing songs and scribbling on things such as pictures and toys. His father, Deandre
Franks, would walk around the neighborhood proudly, with his son on his shoulders. At a time when they should
have been celebrating his life, Deandre's family was getting ready to go to the funeral home to make the final
arrangements to bury him. For Christmas, Deandre had been given a big and though it was too big for him at the
time, they had hoped he would grow into it.

The care of Deandre was divided between his family members which included his mother and father. At one
point, his father had begun to suspect that something was not right with his son when Deandre had told him that
his mothers boyfriend, Hector Ernest Jr. a 26 year old man, had pulled on his lip. Deandre lifted up his sons shirt and found bruises on his chest and stomach. Family members said that Deandre was also complaining of pain after he said his mother had hit him. Their calls to CPS went unreturned and at one point they were even told that the person they needed to speak with was on vacation.

Months before his death, his father bathed him, dressed him and took to the police station to report that he felt his son was being abused by his mother and her boyfriend. According to him, the man behind the desk was very rude and dismissive of his concerns, telling him that if he was lying, he could be arrested. The Hawthorn Police say that even though it doesn't mean he wasn't there, they have no official record of him making a complaint. Of course NOW that there is a child who has died, they'll do all they can to make sure nothing like that happens ever again.

In October, Deandre called Cameo Green, Deandre's mother to ask her about the bruises. Cameo lied and told him that the child had fallen off of a toy fire truck. The bruising and scratches continued to show up on Deandre's body over the next few months. On February 24, the Hawthorne Police were informed by the County Social Workers that abuse allegations had been voiced by the family. On February 25, Police  visited the home and say they visited the home two more times after that. At some point, after March 1, the case was referred back to the DCFS and the Long Beach Police Department.

Deandre was becoming increasingly frustrated over not being able to get help for his son, he was considering
taking his son away from his mother and her boyfriend in an attempt to protect him. That decision would not come
soon enough:

"By the time it took to go through the right channels and avenues, it was too late"
Denise Hayword - Great Aunt Of Deandre Green

“It wasn't as urgent as it should have been. We truly sensed something wasn't right”
Sharlynn Pinkard - Deandre's Grandmother

Cameo Green called that weekend to say that Deandre had died. Deandre Franks visited his son and while kissing him and squeezing his cheeks, he saw a scar near his right eye and dried tears on his cheeks:

"That tore me up inside. I keep waking up ever day crying because I haven't been seeing him"

At Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Deandre Green was pronounced dead. Doctors said that he showed
signs of repeated abuse. On March 20, 2010, Deandre Fitzgerald Green died of blunt for trauma to the abdomen and Hector Ernest Jr. was arrested on suspicion of being the one to kill Deandre and he was being held without bail.

Deandre's death is not the first to come under scrutiny in this area. Since January of 2007, about 35 children who are in the country system have died from abuse or neglect. Long Beach Police Officer Jackie Bezart said that the Detectives are NOW going to check out at least two reports of abuse that had been submitted to the county before Deandre died. Officials said that they had made at least three visits to the home they thought
belonged to Hector Ernest:

"We acted immediately. Within 24 hours we were on the doorstep investigating"
Lt. Gary Tomatani

What I find odd is that the reports say they "thought" he lived there. If they could not find him, why didn't they try to find out exactly where he was? Reports say that they apparently didn't know that Hector was living in Long Beach with Deandre and Cameo at the time they were looking for him. So according to reports, they never really talked to Hector, just visited a home they THOUGHT was his, at least three times.

In May of 2011, Hector Ernest Jr. was convicted of felony assault on a child under the age of eight, causing death
and felony child abuse. Ernest was sentenced to the maximum allowed, which was 31 years to life in prison.
Superior Court Judge, Joan Comparet-Cassani said:

"This poor child, in a way, was tortured to death day by day"

In Court, Judge Cassani read the entire coroner's report into the records in hopes of avoiding Ernest being set free on parole at a later date. Documented in the report were more than 20 bruise on Deandre's face, head, abdomen, back and hips. All of these bruises seemed to have been inflicted within the 24 hours leading up to his death.. Also reported was a fractured rib and the fact that his liver had been ripped in half along with more than 200ccs of blood pooling in his abdomen.

While viewing pictures of Deandre, the Judge commented on the first one that showed him at a time when he was
happy and compared it to the ones the coroner had taken:

"DJ was one of the most beautiful babies I've ever laid eyes on. The coroners pictures showed
scars and
bruises , 20 wounds on his chest, his liver...split in half, his internal organs ruptured
by this disgusting person's acts. It's hard to call this defendant a person due to his disgusting
acts"

The Judge voiced her opinion that Hector should never see the light of day and from the gallery a shout was heard:

"And no protective custody"
Paula Porter - Grandmother

Paula Porter was one of several people who made a victim impact statement to the court, crying as she spoke:

"You all are going to spend $40,000. a year housing Ernest and my grandson will never come
back? I don't think so. And not only is my grandson gone, Cameo Green is gone. It's been
a living hell"

Cameo Green had plead guilty to a charge of felony child abuse and received a six year sentence after she admitted to hitting her son with a belt and not protecting him from Hector. Cameo said that she had begun to hit her son with a belt after Hector started hitting him in order to potty train him or make him behave. Cameo also said that Hector was the only one who punched Deandre all the time and when she tried to protect him, Hector would hit her as well. Cameo asked that Hector be put away for life and made a statement at his trial:

"I feel he has no heart, no soul. I hope you rot in hell"

I feel CAMEO has no heart, no soul, for allowing this man to beat her son and eventually kill him rather than admit she made a mistake in living with him and get him out of her life to protect her child.

Deandre Franks was thrown out of court two times for his outbursts. Who has a right to an outburst, if not the father of this handsome young man who tried to save his son and was ignored by those who should have been there to protect this innocent little boy? We are told over and over "Let the right people handle it" or "Go to the police", it did no good in this case and many others.

Death Occurred in the state of California

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