This case involves a domestic violence victim who was shot and killed by his wife in Kansas. The victim’s wife had a criminal record, and was on probation at the time of the incident in question. On the day of the incident, law enforcement had been called to the couple’s house, where the victim implored officers to provide assistance and stated that he feared for his life. Instead of arresting her, law enforcement left the scene after a few minutes, despite the fact that she was in the house and armed – a violation of her parole agreement. Shortly after the officers left the house, the victim’s wife shot and killed him.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Please describe your experience in law enforcement as it relates to domestic violence calls.
- 2. How often do you serve domestic violence protection orders?
- 3. What are the proper protocols that should be in place when responding to a domestic violence call?
Expert Witness Response E-079309
During my 25 plus years of law enforcement experience I held positions as a patrol officer, field training officer, academy training officer, detective in child sex crimes, gang unit, undercover vice/narcotics, sergeant, internal affairs sergeant, detective sergeant, lieutenant, detective lieutenant, motor lieutenant, and have served on a number of administrative Boards of Inquiry investigating the actions of department personnel. I have investigated countless domestic violence incidents, interviewed numerous victims and suspects of domestic violence, and arrested many violent offenders that were armed and unarmed. This is the classic domestic violence call for service where all of the indicators are screaming for the police to take immediate action. The victim had made multiple reports to law enforcement, the suspect was a convicted felon, armed and on probation. Those facts by themselves are sufficient to arrest the wife for being a prohibited possessor, convicted felon in possession of a firearm, which is both a state and a federal offense, (punishable by up to 10-years imprisonment in a federal prison) and clearly violating her probation. There is additional cause to arrest for the death threats against the victim. Given the circumstances and facts of this incident, the death of the victim was predictable and most certainly preventable. The deputies actions, as described, are inexcusable. They are tantamount to malfeasance in office or cowardice and go against the domestic violence training given to law enforcement and the laws enacted by state legislatures specifically to protect victims of domestic violence.
Expert Witness Response E-007813
I have been trained in the proper response and investigation of potential domestic violence incidents throughout my career. I have applied my training in the arrest of numerous offenders for domestic violence. I have throughout the last few decades regularly received and reviewed a large number of law enforcement journals where domestic violence topics are addressed. I serve as an assessor for the Commission for the Accreditation of Law Enforcement agencies and have conducted assessments of over thirty law enforcement agencies throughout the United States, including reviewing agency policies, regarding victim assistance and referrals. As a supervisor, command officer and law enforcement consultant I have reviewed, investigated and evaluated domestic violence response and investigations. I have conducted and/or overseen numerous domestic violence investigations. In my capacity as a command officer/law enforcement consultant I have assisted in the writing and review of police policy including domestic response incidents/violence policies. There are several things that should be done depending on the specific elements of the particular incident. If probable cause exists to make an arrest, an arrest should be made. If there is an order of protection that has been violated, an arrest should be made. If no order of protection exists the victim should be given assistance in obtaining one. The victim should be provided with resource material, including a list of shelters for Domestic Violence victims.