Domestic Violence in LAPD: Study results

A study conducted by the Domestic Violence Task Force called "Domestic Violence in the Los Angeles Police Department: How Well Does the Los Angeles Police Department Police Its Own?" revealed that performance evaluations of cops with a history of domestic violence are largely unaffected. The study of the LAPD examined 91 cases in which an allegation of domestic violence was sustained against an officer.

• Over three-fourths of the time, this sustained allegation was not mentioned in the officer’s performance evaluation.

• Twenty-six of these officers (29%) were promoted, including six who were promoted within two years of the incident.

The report concluded that “employees with sustained allegations were neither barred from moving to desired positions nor transferred out of assignments that were inconsistent with the sustained allegation.”

Sadly, it is estimated that many of the abused women never come forward as they know the likely result — which is getting shamed by the department for reporting it and potentially more abuse.

Diane Wetendorf, a specialist on police abuse, points out the most common fears when reporting police domestic abuse in her handbook:

If your abuser is an officer of the law, you may be afraid to:

• Call the police — He is the police.

• Go to a shelter — He knows where the shelters are located.

• Have him arrested — Responding officers may invoke the code of silence.

• Take him to court — It’s your word against that of an officer, and he knows the system.

• Drop the charges — You could lose any future credibility and protection.

• Seek a conviction — He will probably lose his job and retaliate against you.

Just two months ago, TFTP reported a story in which a police chief intercepted his wife’s own 911 call for help and had his officers respond to the call instead of the department who should have come. This is just one of many incidents.

These fears can make someone feel incredibly trapped and feel like there is no way out. If you or someone you know is a victim of this type of abuse we encourage you to no longer remain silent. As long as people go unpunished for their abuse, they will continue to dole it out. Leave the county, report it to the federal government, and get as far away from them as you can.