Posted: Monday, April 25, 2022. 4:45 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: In the wake of the murder of Tracy Thompson on Friday and the previous assault of Vanessa Reyes in Placencia, Commissioner of Police Chester Williams encouraged domestic violence victims to go beyond simply filing complaints with the Police Department, then declining to follow through.
The Commissioner confirmed that Thompson had filed multiple complaints with police against murder accused Devon Logan, but declined court action each time, which he said was not the Police’s fault: “When it reaches this stage, where the victim [has] been victimized before, and nothing is done, it comes back to the police, right? Everybody says ‘Oh, she made complaints to the police and police did nothing.’ Yes, she may have made reports, but the question is what was her request? She requested no court action. And this is why I have always said to victims of domestic violence: you need to make [it] stop yourself. There’s only so much the police can do, because if it is that you go to the police and say you don’t want court action, then the police will not pursue it.”
Further, Williams says that any such matter crossing his desk – which is not very many, he pointed out – would be pursued in court at his direction, and it would be up to the complainant to withdraw charges should they wish.
Reyes meanwhile has publicly claimed on social media to have filed multiple complaints against her alleged abuser, Christon Rocha. The Commissioner said Reyes’ matter would be pursued in court regardless of any potential change of heart by Reyes, and Rocha is being sought by police, though he remains on the run.
But the bottom line is this, according to Williams: “When you are being abused by your spouse, particularly women who are being abused, you cannot sit back and allow your abuser to continue abusing you – it will eventually turn out to you being buried. There is a commercial, I used to love that commercial – I don’t see it anymore, ‘he brought me flowers today’ was the name of the commercial? The man beat up the woman and next day he brought her flowers and she was happy, eventually the flowers went to her grave. We have to, at some point, make a stand and say enough is enough.” (The reference is to a poem read in a television commercial named ‘I Got Flowers Today,’ and it can be found on this Facebook page.)
The Commissioner also encouraged women in domestic abuse situations to seek help to get out from the Women’s Department or non-governmental organizations, stating that there is always a way out. “It’s just sad to see the way how some men treat women; it cannot be that you say you love a woman and treat her in that way.”
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