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Discussion in 'The Swarm Lounge' started by Whiskey_Clear, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Technut1990

    Technut1990 Helluva Engineer

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    Just a question, informal survey.

    Often domestic violence causes major impacts on entire families and communities. Given that, when police make domestic violence arrest and the case gets into the courts how should the courts handle a case when the victim explicitly states she (or he) doesn't wish to prosecute ?

    *** note that police are required to arrest if a primary offender is identified ***

    I could list options but Id rather hear your answers
     
  2. Whiskey_Clear

    Whiskey_Clear Banned

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    This could get interesting.
     
  3. RonJohn

    RonJohn Helluva Engineer

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    I would say that it would depend on what evidence the police have without the supposed victim's testimony. If the police witnessed assault, then go ahead and prosecute. If the police are able to find other witnesses or video of an assault, the go ahead and prosecute. If there is no evidence other than a non-cooperating witness it would be extremely difficult to prove a case. In short, I would say it should depend less on what the supposed victim wants and more on what can be proven in court.
     
  4. Whiskey_Clear

    Whiskey_Clear Banned

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  5. Technut1990

    Technut1990 Helluva Engineer

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    So does the justice system serve the victim or is the victim less important than society as a whole ?

    I’m not indicating what I think with this question but does a victim have a say in how or whether a loved one gets prosecuted, given the prosecution would be on the victims behalf ?
     
  6. RonJohn

    RonJohn Helluva Engineer

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    I wasn't aware that a "victim's" consent was a requirement to prosecute a case. Cases aren't always prosecuted as punishment or retribution. Cases are also prosecuted for rehabilitation. Cases are also prosecuted to ensure the rule of law to prevent society from crumbling.

    In a case of a murdered John Doe, neither the victim nor the victim's family requests anything. An argument could be made that it can be inferred that a murder victim would want to be avenged. However, in a case of assisted suicide, the victim actually requested that the person who assisted them helps. If could easily be inferred in those cases that the "victim" would not want the accused to be prosecuted. These cases are prosecuted to benefit society.

    In cases of consensual prostitution and minor drug possession, there is no direct victim to request prosecution. It is also hard to find a benefit to society. These cases are regularly prosecuted.

    In my opinion, it does benefit society to pursue a case of domestic violence. A woman who is abused isn't the only victim. In many cases there will be children involved. Those children might later become physical victims also if nothing is done. Those children already are mental victims. Living in a house filled with fear isn't a constructive environment to raise children. Taxpayers are often victims when Medicare has to pay hospital and doctor's bills for abuse victims.(I know not all domestic abusers are poor, but in my biased opinion many are)

    As I stated earlier, the major factor in whether domestic abuse should be prosecuted boils down to what can be proven. If a case cannot be proven without the cooperation of the victim, then it shouldn't be prosecuted without the cooperation of the victim. If it can be proven without the victim's cooperation, then it should be prosecuted.
     
  7. RonJohn

    RonJohn Helluva Engineer

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    I have said before that the police should not release any statements after a shooting until they can verify information. Often times the initial statements are not correct, and even if not significantly different, the differences add ammunition to those who do not trust police. I believe it would be much better for the authorities if they always got the information correctly instead of quickly.

    It is still my pet peeve that police who "never" release information will release as much information as they want to when it is negative toward a suspect. As soon as it appears that information is negative towards the police, then "never" releasing information comes into play. I wonder in this case if the SC FOIA regulations have a six week window in which to comply. I ask because this incident happened six weeks ago. Police made an initial statement blaming the home owner. They released the video Tuesday, and then announced that their original statement was incorrect. Now they are not making comments other they were incorrect and that the SC Law Enforcement Division is investigating. In other words, they are not going to talk about an open investigation, even though they already did discuss the open investigation.
     
  8. bwelbo

    bwelbo Helluva Engineer

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    Apparently the cop never said the guy opened the door, so not sure why the department first said that. Maybe they assumed that for the cop to have seen the guy point a gun at him at the front door, that must have meant the door was opened. But the bottom line point remains - the guy pointed a gun at a police officer, who shot the guy.
     
  9. RonJohn

    RonJohn Helluva Engineer

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    I don't think it is quite that simple. The investigation has many things that it needs to figure out.

    Why was there a panic alarm from that residence? Did the policeman arrive at the wrong residence? Did the alarm company provide the wrong residence? Was the guy beating his wife who pushed the panic alarm to get help?

    Did the guy know that the person outside was a police officer? I didn't see flashing blue lights against the house, so it appears that he didn't arrive with lights on or siren sounding. As soon as the guy walked up to the window, the police office shined a flashlight in his face. If you are awaken in the middle of the night, hear someone prowling around your yard, and as soon as you look out a window he shines a bright flashlight in your face what would you do?

    I think the biggest thing for the investigation to look at is procedure. Did the officer follow the departments procedure for how to investigate a panic alarm. If he did, the procedure should be looked at to see if it needs to be modified. It might not be the actual truth in the case, but if there is an errant panic alarm, is having a single officer without identifying himself prowling around the property an effective tactic? Police organizations should continually review and modify procedures and ensure that officers are trained in the proper use of those procedures. Failure of departments to review procedures, and failure of officers to follow procedures puts the officers and the public at risk.
     
  10. bwelbo

    bwelbo Helluva Engineer

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    Good questions. I have some more too - was the police officer a rapist? Was the home owner a rapist? Was the home owner running an illegal cock fighting ring? Was he growing and eating dogs in his back yard? Was the front door wood or plastic? Did the officer break the speed limit when driving to the house? Was the home owner clothed, naked, or in his pajamas? Why did the home owner yell at the guy who just shot him to call the police? Was he on drugs? Was he on synthetic drugs?
     
  11. RonJohn

    RonJohn Helluva Engineer

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    That is just being silly. The questions I proposed were aimed at discovering why this happened.

    Was the panic alarm faulty? If so, whatever the cause should be corrected. Panic alarms are much more dangerous than simple glass break alarms. Police are likely to assume that someone is in a hostage situation and enter the situation understandably aggressive. If it was indeed a panic alarm from someone inside the home, then the man likely did know that police would be arriving.

    If it was faulty and there was not a situation inside the house, then it is possible that the man just saw someone outside his house who shined a bright light in his eyes when he attempted to get a better look at him. If that was the case, then your statement of "the guy pointed a gun at a police officer" would not be accurate for what the guy thought. He would have thought "there is an unknown prowler outside my house shining a bright light in my eyes".

    I was not attempting to state or to imply that the officer acted maliciously. I am simply stating that we don't have enough information to state definitively what happened. I also said basically that it is imperative that police have well thought out and defined procedures for different situations. In a panic alarm situation do you want one police officer to respond alone? In a panic alarm situation do the police want to arrive in stealth or with a show or force? I don't have expertise to answer those questions. Police organizations should take lessons from what works well and what doesn't work well and modify their procedures for the safety of the officers and the safety of the public.
     
  12. bwelbo

    bwelbo Helluva Engineer

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    You think your questions are aimed at discovering why this happened, but here is what you asked:
    Why was there a panic alarm from that residence?
    Did the policeman arrive at the wrong residence?
    Did the alarm company provide the wrong residence?
    Was the guy beating his wife who pushed the panic alarm to get help?
    Did the guy know that the person outside was a police officer?

    There is no evidence that the panic alarm was anything other than the 'I've fallen and can't get up" kind.
    There is no evidence the policeman went to the wrong house.
    There is no evidence the alarm company provided the wrong residence.
    There is no evidence the guy was beating his wife.
    There is no evidence the guy didn't know it was a police officer. Further, you point the gun at someone, you may get shot. He was on the other side of a locked door where he could have retreated. Further further, you point the gun at a police officer, you most certainly may get shot.

    So in the vein of asking a bunch of questions without evidentiary reason to, I made a list of some others.
     
  13. RonJohn

    RonJohn Helluva Engineer

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    I did expound on possibilities. However the main questions were: Why was there a panic alarm at a house where it appears there wasn't a panic situation? Was the home owner able to determine that the person outside his home was a police officer? Did the police officer follow procedure for this situation? Do any modifications to the procedure need to be made?
     
  14. Technut1990

    Technut1990 Helluva Engineer

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    There is way to much analysis going on about this. When I say analysis I mean it seems that people assume things surrounding these incidents that aren't facts.

    Panic alarms are just that, Panic alarms. The alarm company doesn't know the true nature of the alarms, they know a button was pushed. They relay this panic alarm to the police dispatch who in turn respond based on very limited info. Normally the procedure aspect of all that is mainly in the alarm company or police dispatch calling the home and trying to get someone to answer. The fact is that most of the time only one officer is sent (unfortunately b/c there are so many alarms they get treated as false alarms). The one officer will try to assess the situation but is inclined to believe that if anything is really happening its most likely a threatening situation to which he/she must stop. The sad part abut this is that since the cop is anticipating something, If anything happens it can be startling. Cops are constantly taught that danger is just around the corner they are always on guard, rightly or wrongly. It takes real control and fast recognition NOT to shoot anyone who has a gun pointed at them, especially on an unknown trouble call.

    The sad fact is that these calls are so numerous that they are treated as ordinary all the way until someone gets shot
     
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  15. Technut1990

    Technut1990 Helluva Engineer

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    I'm not talking about murder. I'm talking about live victims who don't want to prosecute. The problem with domestics is that they often follow the pattern of child abuse, there are rarely witnesses. So when the victim doesn't want to prosecute evidence can be lacking. The problem occurs when police are mandated to arrest on domestics and then the victim tells prosecutors they aren't assisting the prosecution. The victim then becomes the target of constant pressure by the prosecutors to be in court. Investigators are sent to personally serve the victims for court appearances, tracking them down at their jobs if necessary. Cops cannot testify to what the victim says the offender did b/c it's hearsay. The result of the prosecutor push is that victims are eventually looking at arrest themselves for not cooperating. By the time all this pressure is applied the victims end up advisories of the process and do not testify as if they support the effort.

    Politics play a huge role in the thought process to push this stuff and the politics are not for the victims sake its for the reelection effort that the DA or Solicitor. Can you imagine being beaten by your husband one day and then 6 months later the prosecutors office is threatening to arrest you if you don't come to court -- it really doesn't relieve the trauma the victim is under.
     
  16. Animal02

    Animal02 Helluva Engineer

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    On top of that the divorce industry...yes it is an industry encourages false claims of violence.
     
  17. RonJohn

    RonJohn Helluva Engineer

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    My original response was that if there is no other evidence and the supposed victim does not want to cooperate, then it should be dropped. If they do have other evidence, then it should proceed.
     
  18. Whiskey_Clear

    Whiskey_Clear Banned

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    If it gets dropped....and the husband beats his wife a 2nd time? 3rd time? Etc.

    Or a wife, etc. Most people are surprised how many women get arrested every year for family violence.
     
  19. RonJohn

    RonJohn Helluva Engineer

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    If there is no evidence, then it should be dropped. Even if one person is injured, it would be difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the other party injured them without the supposed victim. If he says she fell down the stairs, she says she fell down the stairs, but the prosecutor says that he pushed her down the stairs, how can the prosecutor prove that. The person might get convicted, but it would be because of societal bias against domestic abuse instead of proof.

    I don't want anyone to be the victim of domestic violence. However, if a supposed victim does not want help and there is no proof of domestic violence (only suspicion), the constitution can't be disregarded simply because it is an appalling issue.
     
  20. Technut1990

    Technut1990 Helluva Engineer

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    The reason I asked this question is because there is a moral conundrum that is taking place in this country surrounding domestic violence.

    It has been my experience that prosecutors will play this game. It’s called let the jury figure it out. The reason that it’s a problem is that I think the prosecutors job is to seek the truth not necessarily justice and they are suppose to be ethical when doing it.

    This is the way 80% of the domestic cases go ; victim ( usually a woman) calls the police frantically seeking help after being beaten. The police get there and they may observe injuries to both parties. Police interview and determine the primary aggressor the best they can, they make an arrest ( often the police arrest both parties b/c they see injury but both blame the other). 6-8 months later it gets on a court calendar, the victim is asked to come to court at which time they start back tracking. Now they can backtrack for several reasons, maybe they are threatened, maybe they love the abuser and are trying to work it out, maybe the abuser is the bread winner who supports the victim, there are times when substance abuse is involved and the victim doesn’t remember the incident or what they told the police and then there are times where the victim simply tells the prosecutors office to take a leap.

    Most DAs and Solicitors will ignore evidence and or the lack thereof in favor of politics. The reasoning is that they will suffer political ramifications if they don’t prosecute and the victim gets hurt or killed later. But I’m not sure that’s the role of the prosecutor. I’m old school justice system here, i think it’s a bit ironic that the state claims to be acting in the vcts interest one minute and then threatening the victim with arrest the next.

    The best example of this is the new strangulation law. It’s a felony to strangle someone whom you are in a domestic relationship with, however the same act is a misdemeanor if you strangle your buddy. Also the state will always go forward with prosecuting a domestic strangulation based on the simple allegation. No visible injury, no confession no nothing.

    My issue is the fact that domestic violence groups have so tied the hands of the system that the very system that’s suppose to evaluate and apply the law and rules of evidence is now simply throwing the accusations to the jury.

    If you are innocent you will still be prosecuted and the state will intimidate the victim to testify even when they retract the accusation, all in the interest of politics. I find that very intrusive and immoral. I also find it to be yet another government over reaction to complicated situations.

    While I stand ready to hold abusers responsible I find it insulting and embarrassing that our politicians are so hell bent to sacrifice our freedoms for their political, and ultimately financial gains.
     

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