Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Domestic Violence Trial Today for Elected Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi

This morning the trial begins in San Francisco for the newly elected Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi.  The incident happened on New Years eve with his now estranged, but, common law wife who he has been with since 2009.   The Sheriff is facing one count each of domestic violence battery, dissuading a witness, and child endangerment. 

He was booked and released on $35,000 bail.  Ironically, the Sheriff remains in office until the outcome of the trial.  Naturally, he said at the time "he will fight the charges." Interesting selection of words since "fighting" is how he got into trouble in the first place.  

There was video taken by a neighbor after the incident, the defense attorney argued  of course"hearsay," and despite arguments the judge will allow the video into trial.  Also, an interesting  note, the judge has requested, as of today's 90-minute hearing, to speak with a former girlfriend of Sheriff Mirkarimi as there are allegations of past abuse.  

What I would like to know is why the delayed action in this case.  He was sworn into office, despite being charged and booked on January 13, 2012.  The crime took place prior to him taking office, why was he even sworn-in until the matter was resolved?  

We have a top cop behaving badly, and he's sworn into office? There is also a criminal order of protection against him. Shouldn't he turn in his weapon like everyone else in the world until the case is decided by a judge? Or does the sheriff receive automatic immunity because he's "elected"?  Perhaps the district attorney in San Francisco could take a moment and review the Lautenberg Act. 

Seeing remarks made by the defense attorney and her client that this is a "private matter" shows ignorance, especially in officer involved intimate partner violence.  Domestic violence is against the law; it's not private, nor a family matter when you are trained to protect the streets by day and terrorize in your own home at night.  

Elected official or not, someone else needs to be overseeing this hen house.  There is an immediate need to having training implemented so that lives are not lost in the future.  Removing hearsay for these types of criminal cases must include the "EAA" (evidentiary abuse affidavit) located at Document The Abuse.  Perhaps the judge will order the training for all law enforcement in the community so victims can document the violence in a nice neat package, just in case they should suddenly vanish or be found dead.

“What hurts the survivor most is not the cruelty of the oppressor, but the silence of the bystander”- Eli Weisel

Document The Abuse it contains vital information on how the "EAA"can support each case of abuse from the perspective of the first responder's and advocates, to an appearance in court.  It explains the legal benefits to the abuse victim, whether they are able to testify or not, how their words are forever documented and hold up in court, much like a Living Will.

Susan Murphy Milano is a staff member of the Institute for Relational Harm Reduction and Public Pathology Education as a educator and specialist with intimate partner violence prevention strategies directing prevention for high risk situations and cases.

 A national trainer to law enforcement, training officers, prosecutors, judges, legislators, social service providers, healthcare professionals, victim advocates and the faith based community and author.. In partnership with Management Resources Ltd. of New York addressing prevention and solutions within the community to the workplace. Host of The Susan Murphy Milano Show,"Time'sUp!" . She is a regular contributor to the nationally syndicated "The Roth Show" with Dr Laurie Roth and a co-host onCrime Wire. Online contributions: Forbes : Crime, She Writes providing commentary about the hottest topics on crime, justice, and law from a woman’s perspective, as well as Time's Up! a blog which searches for solutions (SOS) for victims of crime.

1 comment:

Donna R. Gore said...

Hello there! Aren't we all sick to death of that stupid phrase, "...a private matter?" Please go to Forbes .com and read Susan's latest blog and reader's follow-up comments concerning this!

In this day and age of information all the time, anywhere with no boundaries whatsoever, I would argue that there is no such thing as "a private matter" anymore!

As for this San Francisco cop, sounds like politics trump a woman's safety.... and he was leaving his heart and other anatomical parts in all the wrong places such that his women were battered at minimum!
Let's put Document the Abuse paperwork in every cereal box across the country! Yeah... I LOVE that idea!


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