NYPD logo

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.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like Cosmopolitan.com, TheAtlantic.com, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

Read more about Maya

Join the Conversation