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Investigating Domestic Violence

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Investigating Domestic Violence. “Best Practices”. Pete Helein Chief of Police Appleton Police Department. Oshkosh - May 23, 2013 . Lunch Exercise. Engaging Stakeholders. How Do You Engage? How Might You Benefit? How Do You Encourage Victims To Report?. Objectives. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Investigating Domestic Violence

Firearms Summit

Investigating Domestic ViolencePete HeleinChief of PoliceAppleton Police Department

Best PracticesOshkosh - May 23, 2013 Focus1Engaging StakeholdersHow Do You Engage?How Might You Benefit?How Do You Encourage Victims To Report?Lunch Exercise2ObjectivesUnderstanding The VictimReview Mandatory Arrest StandardsDetermining The Primary AggressorPhysical, Sexual And Emotional ViolenceConnecting With ChildrenBuilding Your Case3This Presentation Does Not Constitute Legal Advice. Youre Encouraged To Consult Your Local Prosecutor If You Have Questions That Require A Legal Opinion. 4The First Step In Solving A Problem Is Understanding It5Law enforcement officers are key to:

prioritizing communicating and reinforcing

the commitment to end domestic violence.

6Share Your Vision, Communicate Your Expectations, and Lead By Example7Develop A Community Agenda To Prevent Domestic Violence Homicides8Encourage your community to recognize sexual, physical, and emotional violence as a community problem, not exclusively a police problem.9Frustrations and Challenges10Quick Fixes and Magical Solutions11Do What You Do Best 12Best PracticesPositive RelationshipsClear CommunicationShared ExpectationsTraining13Best Practices Citizens - reporting violenceAdvocates - supporting victimsPolice - gathering evidenceProsecutors - holding abusers accountableProbation and Parole holding abusers accountable14Mandatory ArrestA law enforcement officer shall arrest and take a person into custody if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the person is committing, or has committed domestic abuse and that the person's actions constitute the commission of a crime; and any of the following apply: 968.075(2), Wis. Stats.

15Intentionally inflicted physical pain, injury or illnessIntentionally impaired the victims physical conditionConstitute 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree sexual assaultCaused the victim to fear they are about to be physically harmed or assaulted16Does the OfficerReasonably believe there is a likelihood of continued abuse (Bodily harm, sexual assault, impairment or threat of harm assault) against the victimHave evidence of physical injury to the victim17ConsentAn officer's decision as to whether or not to arrest may not be based upon the consent of the victim to any subsequent prosecution or on the relationship of the parties. 968.075(3)(c), Wis. Stats.

18Visible InjuryAn officer's decision not to arrest may not be based solely upon the absence of visible indications of injury or impairment. 968.075(3)(d), Wis. Stats.

19Determining The Predominant Aggressor20Predominant AggressorWhen an officer has reasonable grounds to believe that adult spouses, former spouses, or other adult persons that reside or have resided together or have a child in common, are committing or have committed domestic abuse against each other, the officer does not have to arrest both persons, but should arrest the person whom the officer believes to be the Predominant Aggressor. 968.075(2)(am), Wis. Stats.21Self-DefenseA person is privileged to threaten or intentionally use force against another for the purpose of preventing or terminating what the person believes to be an unlawful interference with his or her person. 22ELEMENTS OFSELF-DEFENSEPerson using force had a reasonable belief that s/he was at risk of bodily harm.Risk of harm was actual or imminent.The force used was that force reasonably necessary to prevent or stop the infliction of bodily harm.23Use of Force Continuum

24Defensive Actions

25Dual ArrestThe custodial arrest and confinement of two or more people for committing domestic abuse crimes26Offenders often use cross complaints to punish victims27Consequences of Inappropriate Dual ArrestsLessens ability to prosecuteVictims are further victimizedDecreases chances victim will seek further helpIncreases liabilityAbusers gain power and control28Dual Arrests should belimited to those incidents when an officer determines that both parties were mutual combatants, equally involved in the commission of a crime against another person, and neither person was acting in self-defense.

29The Predominant Aggressor is not necessarily the first person who strikes another person 30The Predominant Aggressor refers to the person who the investigating officer determines has engaged in criminal behavior and was not acting in a manner consistent with self-defense

31Determining the Predominant Aggressor, Consider:

The intent of the law to protect victims of domestic violenceThe relative degree of injury or fear inflicted on the persons involvedAny history of domestic abuse between the persons, if that history can be reasonably ascertained by the officer32Officers Should Also ConsiderLevel of violenceInjuries sustained from actions consistent with self-defense include bite marks on the chest, biceps or forearms and scratches on the face, chest, or neckAn individuals ability to defend themselvesPast or present signs of fearUse of Power and Control TacticsCriminal history of involved partiesPast or present Restraining Orders33Frustrations With The Victim34What Is The Most Significant Challenge?Victimstoo afraid to testify because the suspect has threatened to kill them and/or their children.35






Strangulation Intentional Act Over A Sustained Period Of Time


42Seek To Understand Before You Wish To Be Understood43BARRIERS TO LEAVINGRelentless behavior of battererFear of what the batterer might doFear for childrenFinancial dependenceIsolation/lack of support

44Help victims help themselves What you tell them will make a difference45A Victims Consent and Cooperation Are The Gateway To A Thorough Investigation46Im afraid for your safetyIm afraid for the safety of your childrenIt will only get worseIm here for you.You dont deserve to be abused. (Sarah Buel)Gathering Evidence5 Things To Tell A Victim47Preserving The EvidenceSafety PlansSheltersProtection OrdersBail ConditionsSeizing Firearms and AmmunitionCompassion48Evaluating Injuries49Defensive InjuriesInjuries sustained when a person is trying to defend herself or himselfWounds can be either on the victim or the offenderVictim admits violenceSuspect blames victim50Defensive Actions

51Defensive InjuriesScratches on the faceBites to the hands/chestInjuries to the back, buttocks, or back of legsScratches to forearmKicking injuriesOther? 52

Female victim defended herself from being hit/strangled by scratching the suspect53Offensive InjuriesInjuries sustained when attackedWounds can be on victim or offenderExamples: broken nose, stab wounds, black eye, and gun shot woundExample of offensive wound on offender includes gashed knucklesOther?54THE GOLDEN HOUR

Investigating Violence, Threats, and Fears55Are You Asking The Right Questions To Gather The Right Evidence?Prosecutors Expectations56Arrest and ConfinementORArrest and ConvictionLaw Enforcements Expectations?57Arrest And ConfinementGather Enough Evidence to Establish Probable Cause(Minimal Expectations)58Arrest And ConvictionGather Enough Evidence to Prove Beyond a Reasonable Doubt59Documenting The ViolenceCollecting The Evidence Necessary To Convince The Jury60Investigative Guides

61Documenting TerrorCollecting The Evidence Necessary To Convince The Jury62

Four Questions63What Questions Do Your Dispatchers Ask?Law Enforcement64What Does Your Prosecutor Need To Charge and Convict?Law Enforcement65What Does Probation and Parole Need to Confine and Revoke?Law Enforcement66How Can Advocates Help You Help The Victim Survive?Law Enforcement67Why Should You Care?Because it may save your life or the life of a fellow officer68

Homicide PreventionFirearm Seizures =69The information available in a 911 call may save your life and make your case70Dispatchers AreThe first one on scene.Able to gather facts and disseminate critical information.Recording the 911 call that may be critical to the outcome of the incident and the disposition of the case. Able to set the tone for the caller and the responding officers

71Nature Of The CallWhat is happening or just happened? Is medical attention needed? What are the names of involved? Who is injured and how were they injured? What is the current level of danger? Was a weapon used or did anyone threaten to use a weapon? Are there children present?

72If it isnt in your report, it didnt happen73Gather Digital EvidenceSquad Video and AudioPersonal Video/Audio RecordersSocial Media (Phones, Facebook, And Texting)74Digital Stalking



GPS Tracking77

Calls From The Jail

78Evidence Collection911 Call = threats, admissions, weapons, and background noiseHistory of ViolenceObservations (Before and After Entry)Victim StatementSuspect StatementWitnesses (Neighbors and children)PhotosPredominant AggressorRisk Assessment

79Evidence CollectionMedical RecordsProtection OrdersStalking AssessmentGPSCyber StalkingSpywareTextingEmailingFacebookTwitter

(Continued)80Documenting the Crime SceneActual location and adjacent areas:Overturned furnitureBroken itemsDamage to walls, doors, windowsSigns of forced entryDamage to telephonesBloodstains81Documenting Damaged ClothingOn the victim or offenderRipped or tornBloodstainedPunctured82Types of WoundsOn the victim and offenderTypical assault woundsDefensive woundsOffensive woundsMultiple wounds over time83Documenting WeaponsFirearms, knives, household objects, anything used to threaten or harm the victim:FiredPointedThrownStabbedStruck84Interview victim in separate room Consider body language, tone of voice, eye contactAsk open-ended questionsBe nonjudgmentalRespect cultural differencesAsk about thr