Friday, January 14, 2011

Elizabeth New Jersey Violates Federal Law

"On October 29, 2010 I wrote a post titled "Murder in Progress: Elizabeth New Jersey." About a police officers wife whom found the courage after 13 years of abuse and threats on her life and that of her children's lives to press criminal charges against him. He is a commissioned police officer."

For the wife of any police officer whether they live in New Jersey, Chicago, Washington, Iowa, Florida or Kentucky, they all face a greater threat to their lives when they speak out as they end the relationship. On the post I wrote earlier I withheld the name of the victim. Tomorrow is the court date for this case. And the life of this officers wife and her 2 daughters is in grave danger.

Her name is Clara Colon. And, with good reason, she is in fear for her life. Earlier today Clara spoke with the prosecutor. She was informed that a plea deal has been reached and at 1:00 pm eastern time, on Friday January 14, 2011, Stafford Municipal Court in Judge Damin Murray's courtroom this case will not be tried. The officer will be charged with disorderly misconduct, pay a $500 court fine and go to anger management classes.

Clara Colon was allegedly told by the prosecutor that she was just a vindictive woman who is going through a divorce and you will not get anything and its all her fault.Then she asked Clara why she waited so long. Obviously, the prosecutor has little understanding, training or experience of the dangers involved as it relates to intimate partner violence and the legal system when your relationship involves a law enforcement officer.

The system in this case re-victimized and punished Clara Colon for pressing charges and asking the law to protect her. Suddenly a police report of facts has been replaced with a neat and tidy typed up report by fellow officers who are clearly not going to go up against the brotherhood of the badge. The assault and threats against her life with a weapon have been omitted from the "pretty report". In its place the word minor bruise on elbow. "He assaulted me, tried to kill me, but the brotherhood saved him."

There is still the investigation with the Internal Affairs Division in Elizabeth New Jersey but Clara said " what good is that, they are all his friends. And once he completes his "anger" classes if not before, his guns will be returned. "Hooray to the blue and the hell to the victim, your pain and suffering means nothing to the justice system. He will hunt me down and my daughters and murder us just like he has been threatening for over a decade."

No one changes overnight. "I want everyone to know, this man is a dangerous individual, that is being protected like the golden child by his supervisor/ brother who is a Lieutenant and others on the Elizabeth Police Department."

In real time we are seeing a dangerous pattern of conduct few officers wives survive. For women like my mother murdered by my police detective father she also echoed the exact same words. No one believed her while she was alive. They divorced after some 28 years of marriage. A few short months later, my father as do most abusive officers, made good on his promise.

So now what? Measures have been put in place for her safety since October and through the holidays, but it will not stop the bullet already marked with her name on it. There is no assistance for Clara or other women in her situation, we just wait and watch and ask why only after the tragedy.

But here is a question. Is Stafford Township in violation of a federal law? The Lautenberg Act says if you are convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony, you lose your job. Clara Colon's husband will plead guilty to a misdemeanor in court and yet he will retain his position as a sworn servant commissioned to serve and protect?

The Lautenberg Act:

In September of 1996, a federal law was passed which prohibits individuals -- including

police officers -- from owning or using a firearm if they have been convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense (18 U.S.C. § 925). This bill, widely referred to as the Lautenberg Act, was passed as an amendment to the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1996. By modifying the Gun Control Act of 1968, the Lautenberg Act expanded existing federal law that only barred gun ownership from those convicted of a felony offense to include those convicted of a qualifying misdemeanor domestic violence offense. The offense does not need to be designated as domestic violence within state law, but is covered under the Lautenberg Act if it involves the use or attempted use of physical force or threat with a deadly weapon and is committed against:

• a current or former spouse,

• a past or present cohabiting partner,

• a person with whom the perpetrator has a child in common

• a person with whom the officer has or has had a dating relationship

(Individuals with a felony or misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence are ineligible

to own firearms or ammunition even if the offense occurred before the law was enacted.)

When is the justice system going to stop punishing victims of intimate violence? Where are her rights? An officer takes an oath to serve and protect, but their families are immune from receiving protection from the system when their lives are endanger.

Unfortunately, we will have to wait until after tomorrow's hearing to begin plan "B" in this case.

All anyone is asking is for the justice system to stop kicking the lives and safety of women and children whose abusers are in law enforcement, to the curb like trash on garbage day!

Susan Murphy Milano is with the Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Public Pathology Education. She is an expert on intimate partner violence and homicide crimes. For more information visit She is the author of "Time's Up A Guide on How to Leave and SurviveAbusive and Stalking Relationships," available for purchase at the Institute, and wherever books are sold. Susan is the host of The Susan Murphy Milano Show, "Time's Up!" on Here Women Talk is a regular contributor to the nationally syndicated The Roth Show with Dr. Laurie Roth


Behind The Blue Wall said...

Hi Susan,

In the blog post you said "The Lautenberg Act says if you are convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony, you lose your job." It has to be domestic violence classification though. Seems the plea bargaining has blurred this into disorderly conduct.

Too often the judge and prosecutor thinking above all of preserving the unworthy officer's career ignore what they should do and instead agree together to give the officer another chance. It's all about the officer and the officer keeping their job.

I can't imagine how many officer-involved domestic violence terroristic threatenings, pistol whippings, gun-to-the-head asasults, gun-in-the-mouth assaults, tactical arm twists and kicks to the stomach, attempted murders, child abuse cases and aggravated assaults have magically turn into "disorderly conduct" in the halls of justice.

Disorderly conduct. Hm.

People, including the domestic violence community, put up with it... and it continues.

Victims come stumbling away dazed.

Seems Clara is a FIGHTER though - done with being abused by ANYone, so I am very glad to see that you and others are fighting with her.

Kathy said...

I would like to see judges held accountable for the decisions they make to protect a domestic violence perpetrator in any instance where either the target of the abuse or a child of the relationship later comes to harm at the hands of the perpetrator.
Sadly I am aware of other women who can not get the protection of the law because the person who threatens them is either a police officer or someone with police connections. We see this too frequently on our peer support forum, Our Place Online, for those who have been involved with abusive relationships.

Bobby McCarthy said...

Too bad you live in New Jersey Clara, otherwise I would GIVE you a gun to protect your family.

Anonymous said...

I Know Clara and her girls personally. I hear and see the tears of fear almost daily. A woman afraid to leave her home because he may be waiting for her.Stories she would tell, text messages I would receive, not being able to make contact with her fer weeks at a time, all makes sense now. I have seen some of the damage he has caused within the house. I have never personally met this man, but I truly believe he will hurt Clara and her girls.
Clara wanted help but because of threats he made, like many other abusers, she was afraid for her life and the girls.
To the outside world they were the perfect family with everything, but once the door closed the abuse began.
You tell your children to trust a police officer because they are the good guys. Is this the kind of police officer you want your children to trust. I don't but how can you tell the honestly good ones from the corrupt ones, you can't.
You may not think this will happen to you, but neither did Clara, or any of the other victims. If we let abusers walk you may be the next victim, we all need to stand together and make the abuser accountable for thei actions no matter what their job is. NOBODY IS ABOVE THE LAW...

Anonymous said...

Hello all,

I just so happen to be the wife of an Eizabeth Police Office. I have to be very thankful for my husband, he is nothing like Colon. Clara if you are reading this, stay strong. You have two daughters to fight for. Just remember the badge is just a piece of metal that once the right amount of heat hits it, the metal melts. NO OFFICER OR MAN SHOULD HAVE A GUN TO CAUSE HARM!!!!
Keep your head up high, you have had it facing down for far to long.
Oh... and make sure you take him for all he's got. Police officers have great pensions and dont forget the credit union

Anonymous said...

who ever you are the wife of the Elizabeth Police officer.....Thank You for those kind words.....Since his arrest, no one from that dept. has even called me to say...sorry, are you and the girls okay....i mean no one, not even his brother, who knew for years of all spousal abuse. being a supervisor, he should have done his job no matter what.I am so disguised with him and thier family, you just dont know what kind of people they are. cold hearted, evil and unfriendly, 13 1/2 yrs of all their crazy drama. these grandparents never visited , or called girls for birthday nor christmas. as for his brother and his wife, i could count with one hand times i even spoke to them. believe me ,i am a fighter and very strong...this fight just begun, and if EPD had before domestic violence involving one of their own before...and it just was brush away like old news. they have something coming, this woman right here is worst nightmare, because they violate my rights not once but several...they know who they are chief,director captain of internal affairs, and most of all Lt. he knew and did nothing, i wonder if is same as his brother, i wonder. i feel very happy today, finally someone from that dept. has said something. do you know if their are others..tell them thank you..bless you i really appreciate your comment...

Anonymous said...

Your welcome, although you don't know me just know that if there is anything you may need just post it and I will try my best to help. As for his family, screw them you wouldn't want people like them around your daughters anyway.

Anonymous said...

yes their is something , please email me just i really would like to thank you and ask you a question.....if possible...

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