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NYPD orders cops to run criminal checks on domestic violence victims

NYPD logoWhat the actual fuck? The NY Post reports:

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.”

This has gotta be, like, domestic violence policy 101, right? Anyone with any common sense can predict that this policy is likely to have a huge chilling effect. “The majority of domestic-violence cases go unreported,” explained defense attorney Joseph Tacopina. “This is just going to increase this percentage.”

The NYPD released a statement clarifying that there is no “must arrest” policy that applies to domestic violence victims. So while officers are required to do checks, they don’t have to arrest people. I’m sure this will be totally reassuring to someone who is weighing whether to risk arrest or deportation by turning to the police for protection.

The NYPD should be ashamed.

Atlanta, GA

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director in charge of Editorial at Feministing. Maya has previously worked at NARAL Pro-Choice New York and the National Institute for Reproductive Health and was a fellow at Mother Jones magazine. She graduated with a B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. A Minnesota native, she currently lives, writes, edits, and bakes bread in Atlanta, Georgia.

Maya Dusenbery is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Editorial.

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