Domestic Violence By Police Officers

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Aristotleded24
Domestic Violence By Police Officers

While much attention is being focused on police culture in general, I thought I would be appropriate to start a thread specifically dedicated to the topic of police officer involved domestic violence, so that it is not drowned out by other things.

Let's start with a case out of Vancouver. Alyssa Leblevic filed such a complaint against officer Neil Logan, and the department has been accused of sidelining the investigation. The Office of the Police Complaints Comissioner has taken over the case.

Moving east now, a 16 year London police veteran has been charged with assault. Which officer, you might ask? They refused to identify:

Quote:
Police are not identifying the 43-year-old officer. They said he had been in a relationship with the alleged female victim, and aren't naming him to protect the woman's identity.

Is this a possible case of domestic violence right here?

There is also the troubling case of Michelle O'Connell, from St. Augustine, Florida. On the night she broke up with her boyfriend, Deputy Jeremy Banks, Banks called 911 to report that she had shot herself. Her family said that he had been abusive towards her in the relationship. The Sheriff's Office concluded that this was a suicide, against her family's protestations.

Moving to the larger picture, how bad is the problem really? We don't know. It's a very hard thing to track. Think of the dynamics of domestic violence that make victims afraid to speak out. Now add on top of that an abuser being a police officer, the type of public servant whose job is to actually protect victims of domestic violence. The officer has access to weapons, can track down people easily, and knows where the shelters are. How is a victim supposed to fight back against that?

Misfit Misfit's picture

Thanks Ari. I was thinking of ways to start a thread about RCMP reform here in Canada and things that need to be done to put a stop to racism, violence, and brutality if our police officers and their protection from within, and how they refuse to reform or take accountability for their actions.

One thing that makes me angry is police officers investigating fellow police officers. One step removed is having an outside police organization investigate the crimes. The problem is that both agencies have a vested interest in preserving and protecting their own common interests and shared public image.

The article I was just reading on Black Lives Matter and the police in Canada suggests as one starting point is to start defunding police departments and  channeling that money instead into community programs to help build up social networks and infrastructure that these communities desperately need. It won't stop the police officers from battering their partners and children at home but it is a start to downsize the numbers of toxic officers who act aggressively while on duty.

https://canadianwomen.org/blog/robyn-maynard/

This article also suggests more female police officers. Perhaps we need to radically redefine our stereotypes about who makes good police officers. The police force tends to attract males who enjoy the power and control that the uniform gives them over others. Something has to be done to shake up the police departments across the country, and perhaps replacing the numbers of men with women will help to curb the violence both at home and while on duty. Women police officers have to use physical restraining while on duty like their male counterparts but perhaps their greater numbers would help to curb the use of excessive force.
 

One cannot censor television programming. However, tv programs and movies tend to glorify the tough cop image and police brutality. Perhaps there could be alternative programs on tv that would portray a different role for the police. 
 

There needs to be more money spent on educating the police. They do have programs in place already but very little has translated into effectively taking violence seriously. It took one week for the police in Minneapolis to charge all four men with the murder of Floyd George. It took a very long time for the police to arrest the retired police officer and his son in the shooting death of Ahmed Abery. The very real perception is that they have no sincere willingness to act when it comes to their own use of violence. These are American cases but the same thing applies here in Canada as well.

I do not know what legislative action that can be taken to force changes. I also don't know what legislation can stick to force them to comply. Something has to be done.

 

Misfit Misfit's picture

https://www.google.ca/amp/s/www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/cop-doc/201910/intimate-partner-abuse-what-if-your-abuser-is-cop%3famp

"...The article asserted that, according to two studies, officers found guilty of domestic violence were rarely fired or sufficiently disciplined. The article also quoted two studies that suggested a relationship between domestic violence and on-the-job excessive force. One study concluded that officers accused of domestic abuse received fifty percent more complaints about excessive force than their coworkers. The other found that one in five officers arrested for domestic violence nationwide had also been the subject of a federal lawsuit for violating people's civil rights. Why, the author of this article demanded, are police departments becoming more attentive to officers' use of excessive force on the job, but not extending that concern to the officer's behavior at home. "

During the Black Lives Matter protests some police officers are displaying arguably disturbing levels of violence and aggression against peaceful protestors. Perhaps this is a window into their own behaviour at home. 

Aristotleded24

Misfit wrote:
Thanks Ari. I was thinking of ways to start a thread about RCMP reform here in Canada and things that need to be done to put a stop to racism, violence, and brutality if our police officers and their protection from within, and how they refuse to reform or take accountability for their actions.

I started this thread for further exploration so this one can stay focused on the original topic.

Misfit Misfit's picture

Aristotleded24 wrote:

Misfit wrote:
Thanks Ari. I was thinking of ways to start a thread about RCMP reform here in Canada and things that need to be done to put a stop to racism, violence, and brutality if our police officers and their protection from within, and how they refuse to reform or take accountability for their actions.

I started this thread for further exploration so this one can stay focused on the original topic.

That remark was totally unnecessary. I posted an article on topic immediately afterward and then more than one week later this remark. Wow!

Aristotleded24

Abbotsford's finest indeed:

Quote:
A review has been ordered of an Abbotsford Police Department decision to suspend an officer for 16 days, without pay, who was accused of domestic violence.

The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner ordered the review Tuesday, finding the Abbotsford Police Department decision did not reflect the serious nature of the officer’s behaviour.

The officer admitted to five allegations of misconduct under the Police Act, according to the commissioner.

The allegations are related to the assault and harassment of the officer’s estranged spouse over several months.

...

n a separate criminal investigation by the Vancouver Police Department, according to the commissioner, the officer was charged and convicted of assault in relation to the matter.

The Abbotsford Police Discipline Authority, considering the Police Act matter, recommended that the officer receive a suspension, without pay, of between one and five days for each of the allegations of misconduct, for a total of 16 days without pay.

The police commissioner, in the notice of review, found the proposed penalties did not reflect the serious, sustained and deliberate nature of the officer’s behaviour, which spanned a number of months.

And the commissioner’s sentiment is also being echoed by Angela Marie MacDougall, Executive Director of Battered Women’s Support Services.

“It’s appalling on a number of different levels I mean this is the agency that’s responsible for public safety. How they behave with their members in terms of domestic violence can be translated into how they manage domestic violence,” she says.