Devonte Hart


Sage Sherburne, Herald Writer

It’s not an uncommon situation for white people to adopt black children or take them in temporarily. Me, as someone who is a born African American, was adopted by a white older couple when I was 9, as a foster child no matter what race you feel like you’ll never find someone to take you in and love you. And the sad truth about foster care, I was probably a victim of this once or twice. But people take in foster children to make a profit out of them and treat them poorly. And then drop them back into the system when they have enough to live off of or when the foster children become too much or they have children of their own they send them back. But I have never heard of white foster/adopted mothers or parents murdering their foster children they have taken in to love and care for because their birth parents can’t or there is major abuse in the homes and that’s why people go into the system. I’m afraid we still don’t know much about the 15 year old black boy, Devonte Hart who was stated missing, and the presumed dead prior to the crash in March 2018. That was 4 years, I was still in 8th grade when the crash happened.


Devonte Hart came into the spotlight in a 2014 protest, when he was photographed and it went viral of him hugging a white police officer crying. He became a symbol of post-racial America. I’m afraid that did nothing, considering since his death more people of color have died.So no one knows still if he died at the hands of his 38 year old adopted mother, when she drunkenly and intentionally drove her 2003 GMC Yukon off the edge of america. But as far of that we do know the SUV was plunged 100 feet off the cliffside and crashed into the pacific ocean killing Jen, 38; along with her wife Sarah Hart, 38; and Devonte’s other adopted siblings, Markis, 19; Jeremiah, 14; Abigail, 14; and Ciera, 12. This was a murder-suicide and it is still an open case. A 4 year long decade. Devonte was still reported missing as I stated in the beginning. His body was never recovered. And his other sister Hannah, who was 16. They were considered dead, because there were no reported sightings, and they lacked any evidence. And the only conclusion they had was that the Pacific ocean had “consumed” as the news reported, and never to be seen again. So, it’s been four years since his mother Jen drove her family to their death. I’m not gonna say race was involved but it does look a little suspicious that four black kids who had lived half of their life being bounced around and finally found a home are dead. And two were presumed missing then dead. And a white wife who is also dead. And they stopped reporting on him. I mean maybe race is involved, because no one has talked about this kid since, it took me finding a video on another black kid willing got down on all fours like a footstool to help a little white girls on the swings and the little boy’s name is Truman Labrant but they called him peanut. Now a lot of people were upset about this and the news even went full on talking about calling welfare and children’s services. And mentioned Devonte hart. To be clear, the two are very different. You don’t know what happened with Truman, I mean he wanted to help the little girls. And as a kid you don’t think about how to help them you just do. And with Devonte Hart he was in a car with a person who wasn’t really stable enough to be behind the wheel of the car.


I should mention that Devonte’s death was the first at the hands of his murderous adopted white mothers. But not the first to be abused by his adopted mothers. They had a pattern of repeated childs abuse dating back to 2008, now if you don’t know everything comes in three, (one is a coincidence, two is suspicion, and three’s a pattern). So they already waved the red flag when those three reports came in, and then more came in.  And they did nothing, the picture of him clinging to an officer in tears was not just about racism but about his life and the abuse he was suffering. Cause as we know the officers are there not to harm , but protect us and that just hasn’t been going on. So, we should remember that picture. Back to the family, apparently The harts loved to be adoptive parents, and in 2006 they adopted their first biological siblings from Colorado county. Markis, Hannah and Abigail. And three years later they adopted three more in nearby Harris County bio siblings Devonte, Jeremiah and Ciera, who were forced from their house due to their mothers cocaine addiction. They were placed with their aunt, but then moved to the Harts when family and protective service came for a surprise visit and saw a child unsupervised. But in foster care the state gives the parents even long after they adopt money until they are full adults. To ensure that the child is well cared for. Jen Hart received lots of money. And while Devonte was being relocated to Minnesota where they lived. During the 6 month trial period, a 6 year old reported to the police they were getting beaten. That is so sad, really and unfair how people who are white can just tell a story, and people believe them.


Abuse is a serious problem. Whether it’s sexual or physical it’s a problem. And it happens a lot in the world. Unfortunately just because you get out of a terrible situation doesn’t guarantee you’ll end somewhere safe. Once you’re in the system you can bounce around, and it sucks. You never feel like you’re truly wanted. But I found friends, teachers and wonderful people who love and take care of me even though I’m not white. Truman Labrant seems loved, and we don’t know the full story of what goes on behind closed doors. Maybe he’s equally loved by his adopted family. Maybe he just wanted to help and didn’t even think about how to help because he was young. And although in the video it did seem the girl got off and got on his back to get back on. We don’t know the story there either. We can’t assume based on what week that it’s all bad as kids like to do it on swings. We don’t know the whole story, just what we saw. And unfortunately that’s not enough. The same for Devonte Hart, he went viral for hugging a whit police officer, people thought it was for black lives matter. To show people not all white officers are killers and out to get us. But in reality he was hurt, he needed help and someone to hear. Maybe if everyone didn’t focus on what they saw on the outside and took the time to see on the inside. To see that this was a dangerous situation and it led to his death. To an entire family’s death. These people had a pattern, and they always say three is a pattern. But no one thought to look into this. For a world that wants to step into the future and get out of the past. We need to try better to do so. Race is always going to be issued, but it doesn’t have to be a big one. Oppression doesn’t have to exist or prejudice or discrimantion. We have to try better, so what happened to this little boy. This little teenager. To DEVONTE HART never happens again. The world has already gone to hell with Covid and protests. Do we really want to keep focusing on this decade long war that lasted for 400 years of Black vs white. As far as I’m concerned personality matters, what’s on the inside matters. Not on the outside. 

“In all my work, what I try to say is that as human beings. We are more alike, then we are alike.”

—–Maya Angelou