How to Combat Officer-Involved Domestic Violence -Mark Wynn PBS transcript
“Whenever you are aware of a crime and you don’t hold someone accountable, then you’re colluding with a criminal.”
The woman who is battered would have to know about the special relationship that exists among police officers. Is that one of the reasons perhaps they are hesitant to call or know who to call?
There’s no question, as a matter of fact. The dynamic in a domestic violence relationship … is no different than when the husband is a police officer or the wife is a police officer. That dynamic is the same, which means that this is power-based violence, someone using power for intent to control another. And it’s ongoing.
And police know how to use power.
More than that, and this is the real dilemma that law enforcement faces, is that you get someone who already has a propensity to violence — and most often that’s from childhood experiences. We believe about 85 percent of the offenders learn violence at an early age.
So you get that kind of a character in a badge, you’ve got a real problem, because when you train someone to be a cop, anyone in this country, you train them to challenge when confronted. You train them to interrogate when suspicious. You train them to [use] fighting skills that no one else has. You train them how to use weapons. You train them how to deal with conflict. You teach them all these skills, and then you add all of that to someone who is violent, you’ve got a lethal combination on your hands. …
There’s more to it than that, and I know that because I’ve been an investigating officer. And when you deal with these kinds of cases as a criminal investigator, not as a first responder, then you see all of this in the officers, especially when you start doing the interview interrogation, collection of evidence, interviewing witnesses.
You have a very special kind of victim, because they’ve been manipulated by a highly trained offender who also knows the law just like you do. So you’ve got a different kind of person that you’re investigating now. It takes a high degree of training and skill to investigate an officer-involved case. …
This FRONTLINE/PBS episode “A Death in St. Augustine” is a must see. 53 minutes.