Annenberg Radio

Mishandling of a Black couple’s home birth leads to ‘Care Not Cops’ protest

Protesters rallied against the LAPD and USC and asked questions about police brutality after a Black couple’s at-home childbirth led to a forceful wellness check

Protestors participated in a rally against the Los Angeles Police Department Wednesday in response to LAPD and USC’s mishandling of a Black couple’s at-home childbirth.

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On Wednesday 2 p.m., outside of the Tutor Campus Center at USC, the Black Student Assembly organized a rally in support of Kayla Love, a USC graduate student, and Khari Jones, a couple who delivered a home birth on June 27.

Kayla described the urgency of the situation in an interview with NBC Los Angeles.

KAYLA LOVE: I started feeling pain at 9 o’clock, she was here by 9:15. There was no time for a doula, midwife or anybody to get there.

The delivery happened quickly, and complications prompted them to call paramedics. The couple recounts that the paramedics on the scene declared their baby healthy but rushed them to Los Angeles County USC Medical Center anyway.

There, the couple declined to have their newborn child’s blood drawn, stating that they would have a private physician do so. More conflicts arose after this, as doctors, social workers and LAPD officers began asking invasive questions about Love and Jones’ medical histories.

The couple states that USC workers and LAPD officers had forcefully entered their apartment claiming they were carrying out a “wellness check,” where they allege over 10 guns were drawn on them.

Now, students at USC are looking to raise awareness about police brutality and presence of cops on campus.

Emery Ogah shared his initial reactions.

EMERY OGAH: Right now, it’s more towards just protection of Black lives on campus and just being more socially responsible with what we allow. Someone having a baby shouldn’t be separated from the baby almost hours after the baby’s birth with guns pointed at them.

Freshman Effa Fouda pointed out that the event was merely part of a larger, systemic issue.

EFFA FOUDA: I think it’s just a drop within a pool of definitely subjugation of minority groups, women of color. That is not only the case at USC but across the country … I think it was a gross display of a disgusting power dynamic that exists within any community in the United States”

Love’s request for available student emergency funds was denied, and she has been threatened with an eviction notice from family housing, which jeopardizes her status in her doctoral program.

LOVE: Even though we’re pushing through it and you know our child is doing well it just created a very, very stressful situation and in addition to that I have to attend classes.

Love and Jones are now taking legal action against the multiple parties involved, including USC and LAPD.