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  • Writer's pictureAngel Turner

Remembering Georgia Leah Moses: Facing the systems that failed my sister

My original idea for the “Remembering Georgia” series was for it to be in 3 parts, with the third of the series talking about the systems that failed my sister. When it came time for me to write the story, the Lord told me not to write it. A part of me felt combative to that response because I was finally able to write about my sister and let the world know who Georgia really was and provide some truths to her case that were never talked about.

Being in a combative state, I still attempted to write the last of the series. Again, the Lord told me not to write it. I finally gave up because I thought it was because of the potential backlash I would face for pointing the finger at all of these failed systems to include - the Sonoma County Sherriff’s Department. And the last thing I wanted/want is for my sister’s case to receive anything less than what it deserves - care and attention.

About a week ago, God gave me the answer to the question, I didn't want to ask- why not write it?

You see, had I written my story a year ago, I would have pointed out the systems that failed my sister: child protective services, the school district, the media, the Sonoma County Sherriff’s Department, The District Attorney at the time, and ultimately- Sonoma County. I would have given examples of their failures and proceeded to complain about them.

But the truth of the matter is, a year ago, I didn't know the extent of the failures from these systems. What I saw was just the tip of the iceberg, and now a year later, I see what the Titanic didn’t see…a MASSIVE problem!

My sister was failed before her death, at her death and after her death. The level of failures surrounding one person, one CHILD, is so great, honestly, I just have to pray to keep my heart from hardening towards these entities.

If you follow our social media, you’ll know by now my sister’s name is Georgia Leah Moses and not Georgia Lee Moses. Some may say it was a simple error or it’s just a middle name, but that’s far from the truth from what I see and what I feel.

Reality is, my sister did not matter enough to get her name correct. She did not matter enough to FACT CHECK the details of her identity. What if, instead of Georgia, they called her Georgina Leah Moses would that be offensive enough to be upset?

By law, names are the main identifiable aspect of a person. As soon as you’re born, the hospital has to have your name so that it can be logged with the state and used for ALL of your pertinent information.

My sister and her middle name have an even greater profoundness. In her death, she was not remembered as Georgia Moses. She was remembered as Georgia Lee Moses. Her name was so instrumental to her remembrance that singer and songwriter, Tom Waits, wrote a song titled Georgia Lee.

My sister’s incorrect name on her gravestone is the epitome of salt to injury. Unfortunately, the error of her name is the culmination of being undervalued by the very systems designed to serve and protect.

Now that I see the truth and I understand that my sister and her case are not the result of just unfortunate circumstances, I have an obligation. How many more children are being neglected, overlooked, undervalued and left to meet their demise because of these repeated system failures?

I can answer that for you- TOO MANY. If one person is willingly being failed by any of these systems- that is TOO MANY.

Acknowledging wrongdoings is like deciding what you want to eat. That alone doesn't settle your hunger pains. You have to EAT! I can't just sit by and cry about what was done wrong if there's no follow through.

These systems need to change. There needs to be a NEW standard of accountability. It shouldn't take someone dying for these systems to temporarily decide to do the right thing. We all know what right looks like. The problem lies with the people obligated by law to do what's right and choosing not to do it. It's time to change that.

In honor of my sister, Georgia Leah Moses, change IS coming. Stay tuned.

The only way to change the world, is to change the world.”

Angel Turner


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