Joliet Action Group Seeks Answers, Justice For Semaj Crosby

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Joliet area group is taking steps to honor the memory of a 17-month-old girl who died in April under suspicious circumstances.

The Justice for Semaj Action team has formed to offer help to the siblings of Semaj Crosby and continues to press for answers about how the 17-month old’s death came about.

The team has been accepting donations of clothes, toys and gift cards for Semaj’s siblings. They are also asking the Joliet Park District to rename Oak Park to Semaj Crobsy Park and are collecting signatures to make that memorial happen.

The toddler was found dead under a couch in her family’s home in April, a couple of days after a DCFS investigator had checked the home and found no hazards or safety concerns.

Now the Justice for Semaj Action group has set up an online petition, on change.org, asking Illinois Attorney General’s office to investigate the practices and review the procedures of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

The petition reads:

“We the undersigned respectfully request the Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office to review the standard operating procedures of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Specifically the follow through of practices being executed on a consistent basis. Furthermore we request a comprehensive investigation into reports citing veteran investigators that stated ‘they are pressured to quickly close abuse and neglect cases even when children face serious harm.’ We request an implementation of Best Practices be put into place to prevent Environment Injurious to Health and Welfare in an effort to combat greater risk to children in contact with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services even in initial investigations.

We must not allow children to be left in indecent unsafe and unsanitary conditions. In many cases this neglect is the gateway to greater abuse that although unnoticed often occur regularly and unfortunately could lead to death of children which can be avoided.”

The petition is hoping to get 5,000 signatures. The group has already received over 3,000.

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