Dec 4, 2013
New NYPD Domestic Violence Policy May Deter Reports From Victims
Posted on Mar 17, 2013
The NYPD is implementing a new directive that will subject domestic violence victims to criminal checks, along with those whom they accuse of harming them, according to the New York Post, which obtained a copy of the memo by Chief of Detectives Phil Pulaski on the subject.
“The memo ... requires detectives to look at open warrants, complaint histories and even the driving records of both parties,” the Post reported.
An anonymous police source told the Post that victims reporting domestic violence could be arrested if they have warrants on their record, even if they’re only for minor offenses such as unpaid parking tickets. “This is going to deter victims of domestic violence,” the source added. “They’re going to be scared to come forward.”
In response to the story, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne released a statement saying, “While it is standard practice and policy for detectives to investigate victims’ backgrounds to help lead them to the victims’ assailants, the NYPD—contrary to a published report—has no “must arrest” policy that applies to domestic violence victims. In fact, the discovery of open warrants on domestic violence victims often results in their warrants being vacated.”
But as Gawker observed, “ ‘Must arrest’ or not, by looking into records of abuse victims, the NYPD risks further discouraging reports of abuse at a time when an astonishingly few cases of domestic violence are being reported.”
—Posted by Tracy Bloom.
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