Black men and women are equally likely to engage in partner abuse, according to the CDC. But police have been trained to believe that men are usually the perpetrator. As a result, every year 27,000 Black men are arrested for domestic violence -- compared to only 6,000 Black women.
The Mass Arrest of Black men is unjust, and must stop! Here’s Carl’s story…..
Carl Starling of Prince George’s County, Maryland – right outside our nation’s Capital -- was a successful businessman and had no previous run-ins with the law. And then one morning, his wife physically attacked him.
Carl starling was falsely accused of partner abuse, leading to his wrongful arrest. It took carl many years and lots of money to restore his good name. Now, carl is fighting back…
Carl immediately went to the Court House to file a complaint. And when he got there, guess who he saw….his wife, who was filing a complaint against HIM!
In her complaint, she charged that Carl “slammed me into the bathroom wall…slammed me into the bathroom window/blinds…choking me the entire time before slinging me to the floor, and slamming my head against the floor, repeatedly.”
With such a horrific description, you would have expected that the woman suffered a major concussion, had cuts and bruises, as well blood on the floor. There would have been visible damage to the bathroom walls. But the police didn’t see any of that. The next day, the woman was ordered to undergo a medical examination. Again, zero evidence of an assault.
Despite the total lack of hard evidence, guess who the police decided to arrest? If you said, “Carl Starling,” you were right!
In the end, the prosecutor refused to pursue the case – see attachment B. But Carl was so incensed by the injustice of it all, that he demanded a Trial By Jury – attachment C. After a two-day trial in which the woman introduced fake evidence, Carl was found innocent of all charges. yay!
Carl sadly concludes, “Each time I sought help from Prince George’s County Police, Sheriff’s Office and Family Court, her abuse behavior was rewarded. I was ordered to pay her court costs, her attorney’s fees, $1,000 a month spousal maintenance….Family Court ordered me an additional $2,000 a month alimony, leaving me barely able to pay my own monthly expenses.”
This, despite the fact that his now ex-wife, was a law student at the time and a former executive-level government employee.
You can see full details of the case, including Helena’s actual hand-written statement and Carl’s arrest warrant, here.
SO WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO STOP THESE CONTINUING INJUSTICES?
Carl Starling writes, ‘Doing nothing ensures this will happen again.’ So the Coalition to End Domestic Violence has come up with a five-point plan to stop the mass arrest of Black men:
1. Curb False Allegations
Eight percent of Americans report they have been falsely accused of domestic violence, child abuse, or sexual assault. Four states have passed legislation designed to end false 911 reports that are made to harass a person based on sex, race, or sexual orientation: New York, California, Connecticut, and New Jersey.
2. End Mandatory Arrest
Many states have policies that mandate or encourage arrest for domestic violence. Such policies likely violate constitutional “probable cause” requirements and are biased against males. In most cases, victims do not want the offender to be arrested; they only want the abuse to stop.
3. Eliminate Predominant Aggressor Policies
In many cases, intimate partner violence is mutual, meaning both persons are exchanging blows. Police officers are discouraged from arresting both persons, so they decide who to arrest based on sex-biased “predominant aggressor” policies that include questions about “height” and “weight.” No surprise, in 4 out of 5 cases, it’s the male who is arrested.
4. End ‘No-Drop’ Prosecution Policies
For most crimes, the prosecutor has discretion whether or not to pursue the case, depending on the strength of the evidence. But with No-Drop policies, the prosecutor is forced to pursue the case, even when the victim is not cooperative.
5. Expand the Availability of Diversion Programs
When serious physical abuse occurs, domestic violence diversion programs provide the offender with critical anger management, substance abuse, and mental health services. Such diversion programs should be made more widely available, and help the offender avoid getting a permanent criminal record.