Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Domestic violence - when to arrest?

Two months ago, on Saturday, June 21, just before 4:30am, an incident of domestic violence occurred in McHenry County. The McHenry County Sheriff's Department (MCSD) was contacted and responded.

A suspect was quickly identified. The suspect was well-known to deputies of the McHenry County Sheriff's Department. While the first deputy was enroute to a residence on Barnard Mill Road on an "unwanted person" call, he was advised (presumably by police radio, although the report doesn't say; maybe he was called on his cell phone, so that the communication would not be recorded) that the (unwanted) person had left and was intoxicated. Upon arrival, a male victim informed the first deputy that he was a victim of a domestic battery.

The suspect was a female deputy of the Sheriff's Department.

After speaking with the victim and observing his injuries, the deputy summoned his supervisor. The supervisor and the deputy interviewed the victim.

The supervisor's report of the victim's explanation is completely redacted in the FOIA response from MCSD. Not just a few words here and there. Not just the limited information that can be lawfully redacted under exemptions in the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. About 20 entire lines of the report are redacted on the first page of the report (and more redactions later in the report).

The supervisor's report then continues that the deputy photographed the victim's injuries and got first names of two bartenders at the Rusty Nail (4520 Ringwood Rd., Ringwood, Ill.).

I would like to thank "Sloth Chunk", who recently commented on a previous article about this incident. In his comment, "Sloth Chunk" wrote, "And a domestic dispute is just that, a dispute. A domestic assault is different and has mandatory arrest laws. That is if there is Probable Cause that a battery occurred."

So, if a victim says he was battered and has visible injuries that can be photographed, is there P.C.?

The report of the supervisor was carefully titled "Domestic Dispute", even though it lists "personal weapons (hands, fist, feet)" and refers to injuries to the victim, photographs of those injuries and the victim's statement that he "...was also a victim of a domestic battery." (This will be important later, when the State's Attorney's Office refuses to file felony charges (and the Department chooses not to file misdemeanor charges.))

What happened next will be covered in a future article.

1 comment:

Big Daddy said...

Yes, an arrest should have been/will be made. Where I work this deputy would have been arrested, stripped of police powers and placed in a unit called Call Back until resolved.