The New York Police Department recently announced a new directive stating they would run criminal background checks on anyone who reports domestic violence. The new memo issued by the chief of Detectives, requires detectives to look into warrants, complaint histories and even driving records of both parties -- the victim and the abuser.
This means that even fewer victims of domestic violence will report their abuse. Even those with minor offenses such as unpaid parking tickets are at risk for arrest if they call 911. Domestic violence already goes unreported for the most part, and this will drop those numbers even further. And if fewer victims report their abuse, more of them will be in dangerous -- and even life threatening -- situations.
I'm a Black man who has lived in New York my whole life. I know that many people already don't feel like the NYPD is here to protect them. The department's motto is "Courtesy, Professionalism, Respect." This policy flies in the face of all three of those qualities. The NYPD's goal should be public safety for all, not just those whose background checks come back clean.
We need to help DV victims feel safe, and feel as if the law will be out for them and not out to get them. I'm a father and I don't want my daughter growing up in a world where she hesitates to call the cops on an abusive partner because she's even more afraid of the police than of her abuser.
Please join me to ask the NYPD to reverse this dangerous and outrageous directive. I'm not exaggerating when I say that lives could be at stake.
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