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Already scared to report an abusive spouse to the police? This new directive issued from the Chief of Detectives to the New York City police force will make it even less likely that victims of domestic violence will speak out.

Women who report domestic violence are exposing themselves to arrest under a new NYPD directive that orders cops to run criminal checks on the accused and the accuser, The Post has learned.

The memo by Chief of Detectives Phil Pulaski requires detectives to look at open warrants, complaint histories and even the driving records of both parties.

“You have no choice but to lock them up” if the victims turn out to have warrants, including for minor offenses like unpaid tickets, a police source said.

“This is going to deter victims of domestic violence . . . They’re going to be scared to come forward.

Ya think?

Think the possibility of being thrown in jail over a parking ticket might deter someone from calling the police while having their head bashed in?

No one, even the cops who have to enforce this new directive, thinks this is a good idea.
A source told The Post that detectives had no leeway, so even battered women they felt sorry for would be arrested because they'd fear getting in trouble from their bosses.
Marilyn Chinitz, a family lawyer who often represents abused women, told The Post the 'frightening' move will put victims in even more danger.
'You're arresting the victim?' Chinitz said. 'That is crazy. That is very, very frightening. It would absolutely dissuade people. They would not report a crime because they would fear getting locked up.'
She said the NYPD policy would empower the attacker and give them the confidence to continue beating their partner, and potentially their children, without fear of retribution.
This will put children at risk who are likely to be left home without adults while Mom is in jail.

The majority of these crimes already go unreported (according to other domestic abuse victims' advocates) and those that do tend to get dropped by the victim as the perpetrator threatens them if they pursue charges. This will only serve to empower the abusers even further.

“The majority of domestic-violence cases go unreported,” said defense attorney Joseph Tacopina.
It's already very difficult prosecuting domestic abuse cases, because 75 percent of the time the women who were victimized stop helping prosecutors—thankfully, wifebeaters like to brag about their misdeeds, and they are really, really dumb about it
This directive comes from  the Chief of Detectives, appointed by Commissioner Ray Kelly in 2009. This individual is responsible for a whole host (90 at last count) of such directives issued through memos, and apparently is in a position to make such policy in a unilateral fashion.

The NYPD is of course disputing this. Their spokesman Paul Browne (of "no the NYPD does not spy on Muslims fame) has issued a statement that there is no 'must arrest' policy - despite the fact that the interviewed policemen said they have no leeway, and he completely ignores the actual directive ordering police to investigate the victims' background in the first place. If there's no need to arrest them - even if something is found in their record - then what are they looking for?

So, if you thought the police were there to protect you - you were wrong! The NYPD just made life a lot more difficult for victims of domestic violence

Originally posted to Barefoothoofcare on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 02:42 PM PDT.

Also republished by New York City, Police Accountability Group, and RaceGender DiscrimiNATION.

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