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  1. #1
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    Default Domestic Violence and Police Misconduct

    I left my husband last fall after he beat me up pretty badly. I had several bruises, scrapes, scratches, and a broken bone in my foot (which I later had to have surgery to correct). I called the police, two officers came. When they got there, they spoke with each of us, I told them what happened, showed them the bruises and marks (that were already appearing less than 20 minutes after he was hitting me; in the morning, the bruises were almost all the way around my arms) The officers response was, "oh, ya ok," nonchalantly. Thats not the least of it. Initially I didn't want to press charges, because I could not afford to get a restraining order (you have to pay $300ish for them in Texas, and he had every dime of our money) and I was afraid of retaliation if I did. Now that I've moved and feel safer, I want to press battery charges against him. When I called the PD to ask for a copy of the report, the person in records told me there was not a report. There was an "informational report" but nothing that said anything more than that one officer was dispatched to this address at that time.... no details about the incident, no documentation of the injuries, NOTHING. And they even got the # of officers wrong. There was only one listed... and there were definitely two officers there.

    1. How do they get away with this? Where are my tax dollars going? Sure as h e l l not to protect me!

    2. What do I do now???? How do I go about pressing charges without a police report?


    Any advice or help would be so appreciated! thanks!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Domestic Violence and Police Misconduct

    Quote Quoting jerassica
    View Post
    I left my husband last fall after he beat me up pretty badly. I had several bruises, scrapes, scratches, and a broken bone in my foot (which I later had to have surgery to correct). I called the police, two officers came. When they got there, they spoke with each of us, I told them what happened, showed them the bruises and marks (that were already appearing less than 20 minutes after he was hitting me; in the morning, the bruises were almost all the way around my arms) The officers response was, "oh, ya ok," nonchalantly.
    Without knowing what HE said, and what officers observed (were there injuries on him? did this appear to be mutual combat?), there's no way to tell what they were thinking. Typically, if ONE party is identifiable as the aggressor, that party is arrested, even if police didn't witness the event. If they can't tell (or if it was mutual combat), and they feel a crime occurred, they do a report and forward it to the DA to decide if the case moves forward or not. The only persons who could answer why that didn't happen in THIS case are the responding officers. However, given how long ago it occurred, odds that they'll even remember are slim. Telling police you're not willing to pursue the case, in theory SHOULDN'T prevent them from taking a domestic violence report, IF they believed domestic violence occurred AND that one party could be identified as the aggressor - that's in THEORY - in REALITY, when police have someone who indicates that they aren't going to cooperate in charges, it's easier for them to wave goodbye. Again, all we have to respond to is your version of events, which is only HALF of the information officers on scene had. So our guesses can only be half accurate, at best.


    Initially I didn't want to press charges,
    Most victims don't. Many regret it later.


    because I could not afford to get a restraining order (you have to pay $300ish for them in Texas, and he had every dime of our money) and I was afraid of retaliation if I did.
    Who told you there was a $300 fee for a domestic violence protection order in Texas? There is NO cost to file the forms, and the Clerk mails the notice, so there is no fee for a process server. There's actually a free pro bono (do it yourself) protection order kit available for Texas. THIS is why when you have domestic violence issues you work with your local domestic violence program (the people who help with this issue day in and day out). Not only could they have assisted with getting an emergency order in place, usually within 24 hours, but helped you file for a permanent order AND assisted with safety planning AND explained how IMPORTANT it was to have filed a police report - even if it had to be a day or two later. Six months later isn't going to wow the prosecutor who then has the job of trying to sell the story to a jury. It's not that you won't be believed by the prosecutor, but they tend to pursue cases they can WIN, and the initial hesitation on your part, and the now half a year time lapse really makes this an almost unwinnable case, even if they KNOW the crime occurred.


    Now that I've moved and feel safer, I want to press battery charges against him. When I called the PD to ask for a copy of the report, the person in records told me there was not a report. There was an "informational report" but nothing that said anything more than that one officer was dispatched to this address at that time.... no details about the incident, no documentation of the injuries, NOTHING..
    I can't answer why the officer's didn't take a report. But if you weren't willing to give a statement (ie to pursue the case, which you told them you weren't willing to do), and if they otherwise didn't find probable cause to arrest, the incident likely got treated like most people WISH their domestic violence call would be handled; police showed up, the violence stopped, the victim refused to cooperate, and everyone went their separate ways. That's not the way it's SUPPOSED to work anymore. But obviously, it still does, particularly when the victim makes it clear that they don't want to pursue the matter. Police MAY have dropped the ball, and since you made it clear that you didn't want involvement, it allowed them to leave with no report or accountability. On the other hand, if they weren't going to be making an arrest or filing charges, they had no REASON to document injuries, etc.


    And they even got the # of officers wrong. There was only one listed... and there were definitely two officers there.
    It is typical in law enforcement that only the primary officer is listed. Nothing to get riled up over. There could be 50 officers there - only one is the primary, and only one would be listed as the reporting officer. The others only show up in the dispatch record or if they are listed as witnesses to an incident on a police report.

    1. How do they get away with this? Where are my tax dollars going? Sure as h e l l not to protect me!
    Police can only protect you in so far as YOU are willing to protect yourself. Prosecution requires SOMEONE willing to tell the jury what happened. Telling them you're not going to cooperate in pressing charges, unless they've got STELLAR evidence or other witnesses really ties their hands in some cases.

    2. What do I do now???? How do I go about pressing charges without a police report?
    You can always try to contact the DA's office and discuss the possibility of them filing - but I wouldn't get my hopes up (as you already noted, no evidence, no statement signed by you at the time of the incident, no photos taken since no case was pursued, etc.). You can also talk to your local domestic violence program and see what angles they might have.

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