Cops are being urged to look into the criminal records of domestic violence victims, according to an exclusive report from the NY Post.
The report is based on a memo by Chief of Detectives Phil Pulaski, reminding his department of a standard practice that investigates both parties in domestic violence cases, including open warrants, complaint histories, "and even the driving records of both parties."
The NYPD appears to be taking the report seriously, as the following day Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne released a statement announcing that "contrary to a published report," a "must arrest" policy does not exist for domestic violence victims.
"While it is standard practice and policy for detectives to investigate victims' backgrounds to help lead them to the victims' assailants... the discovery of open warrants on domestic violence victims often results in their warrants being vacated," Browne explained in the statement.
Yet according to the Post, police sources are upset about the memo, insisting that it means "you have no choice but to lock them up," and that the policy will deter victims of domestic violence from coming forward.
A vast number of domestic violence cases already go unreported, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of domestic violence.
A separate source reportedly "fumed" to the NY Post that "there's a lack of common sense in this department right now."
A police source told Metro that the memo was simply a reminder to "squad investigators to run complete criminal histories on everyone involved in their cases, including domestic violence victims."
"The thinking, of course, is that we can better do our jobs if we know exactly what, and who, we're dealing with," the source said. "As such, sometimes we find out that victims have open warrants.
"If it's for drinking an open beer somewhere — not a big deal," the source added. "If it's for something more important like a homicide in Albany 10 years ago, say, it can be a big deal."
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