Special to WorldTribune.com
A woman who took her family gospel band to perform for occupiers at an Oregon wildlife refuge earlier this year was arrested and seven of her children were removed from their Kansas home.
Odalis Sharp, 46, of Auburn was booked into the Shawnee County jail on April 29 for battery of an officer and interfering with a law enforcement officer, jail officials told The Kansas City Star.
Sharp and seven of her 10 children traveled to Oregon in January to sing for and support the 41-day occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. One daughter, 18-year-old Victoria Sharp, was riding with Nevada rancher LaVoy Finicum and three of the other occupiers when Finicum was shot and killed by Oregon state police.
Sharp said she was arrested after attempting to file paperwork in court accusing her landlord of breach of contract. Her landlord had earlier sought to have her removed from the home. When she returned home, Sharp said law enforcement and employees with the Kansas Department of Children and Families (DCF) were waiting.
“They wanted me to go with them,” Sharp told the Star. “They wouldn’t let me go to the house. One grabbed my arm and legs and dragged me out of the car. I kicked the woman officer.”
Sharp said the sheriff’s officers arrested her and took one of her children who was with her at the time. Six of her other children had been taken by child welfare workers while she was away, Sharp said. Three older children live elsewhere.
“They’re all in DCF custody now, as far as I know,” she said. “They’re evil. They steal kids. This is the devil against my family.”
She said DCF workers visited her at least twice since returning from Oregon and that someone had apparently called the child abuse and neglect hotline recently.
“They’re making false charges,” she said.
Sharp was released on April 30 on $3,000 bond. No charges had been filed as of May 3.