Feb 19, 2014|
Angela talks about domestic violence with Tulane associate law professor Tania Tetlow and Monica Davidson, mentor to Lakisha Johnson who was murdered by an abusive former boyfriend.
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Angela discusses the shooting in Lafayette and says farewell to WWL as she hands her timeslot off to Scoot.
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Angela talks with WWL-TV investigative reporter Katie Moore and Tulane law professor Tania Tetlow about the city's backlog of uninvestigated rape cases.
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
Domestic violence doesn't have to become a desperate situation before anyone takes it seriously. What is the -- of a restraining order. Why is abuse weather physical or motion emotional often dismissed by society. Are close friends and family just too uncomfortable. To jump in and help. And why don't some women heed the warnings to stay away from man who are often obsessed and mean to harm them. All domestic violence and deaths are tragedy but a recent death was especially sad. 22 year old woman was murdered by the 56 year old man -- have been going with for a number of years he also killed himself after killing her. She met him when she was sixteen. And continued to sink -- even though her parents were very against it. At some point she ended the relationship. But he allegedly lured her to his home saying he owed her money. Their bodies were found almost a week ago. Tonya Kaplow who heads up the domestic violence division at Tulane Law School is our guest. As is Monica Davidson a mentor to the young woman who lost her life. Which he should Johnson -- one thing both of you Monica and -- for joining us this was this was a heartbreaker and again not that all of them or not. But this -- just was especially sad. -- on many levels. Not the first patients. It's not at all the first case have seen and I think one thing that makes it striking is that. The the man the fifty plus year old man to they all all the evidence shows did a murder suicide basically kill -- -- -- and killed himself. Have been put on trial for killing. Another girlfriend about ten years ago she was found stabbed dozens of times beaten and then lit on fire. And a jury acquitted in that case after deliberating only about an hour. And we don't know what evidence is presented them in out of had a choice but he went on. To go finally -- at the start dating her when she was only sixteen years old which is essentially statutory rape and to. Pulled pulled her in in ways that she found herself trapped and had finally gotten away. But that breaking out of control is often but really precipitate some violence is not the women who stay who diets the women who try to leave. And yet somehow we still blame them some -- for not being willing to leave this is why it's so hard to leave Michigan and -- that. She has a child by him yes so that might have been another. Bond. There are there are so many ways that. That victims get stock. And the batters do it on purpose rates that they used these techniques to get their victims traps and they don't hit a person a woman on the first dates that would mark. They wait until they're really committed in some ways that they have. Status in the relationship they told their friends and family that they may be gotten her pregnant quite purposefully refused to use birth control -- lied about it. Or gotten married I've had lots of clients violence started on the honeymoon night. Or even worse started the night before the wedding says that she then has to decide whether to call it off or believe then that it was only an aberration. And still make the choice to marry him even though she had this warning and he knows it's gonna make it far harder for her to get out. He bank -- maker totally financially dependent which is pretty easy with a teenager on the with anyone. Make her quit her job insist that the money -- in his name and he'll try to isolate her from her family and friends he'll. Make them. Pissed them off so much that they -- don't come around anymore ever you know throw it every time she spends time at their own family. And he'll do everything he can't get a stack and one of the main ways to do that his children because. If she leaves it's one thing for her to get away but he will still have custody rights to that child it's very difficult and our courts to get. All sole legal custody. And he'll get visitation a decade and so then you'd get out but he still has a hostage in the child she from what we read newspapers and seen in the news. Not really had -- family who was very devoted to her and very frightened for her and an expressed their thoughts of this is not a good guy. And yet you know she's sixteen she's seventeen she's eighteen -- may be the -- of an older man. Whatever his. Thing wives. -- Listening to her family. Well the alert and the control I mean I think getting when with a teenager. Lives in fear or something like this happening of them coming over under the influence of someone. Bad that it at a moment when teenagers trying to break away from the authority of their parents that's what they're supposed to do that's part of growing up that they. Succumb to the authorities someone else is just a nightmare that this can happen with adult women too and that the issue is some of this can be emotional connection I don't mean to discount that you know batterers that they were always evil and always terrible all the time to be very simple to avoid. And I've prosecuted and defended US tattooed to his forehead that would make life easier. But most of them have a good side they have something human about them -- somebody in and there is that emotional connection we. We encourage people to be forgiving and loving in a normal situation. But a lot of what traps these women is not just emotion it's also. Safety custody money and money needing food for your kids all of that to where he the most rational person in the world can find himself -- And they're not under any -- and he loves her they just have absolutely no way out. Very very frightening. We are Monica Davidson you were a mentor to application can you talk about that. -- -- Thank you for me. I expected. Actually. Term struggle they got out -- My relationship the application. I. Came in contact. -- As a mentor for each one saint one entry training process. And I first met her and -- should -- eight your -- and she didn't act well in school. The podium and -- then and she that there are very shy and -- -- I got her will be with me on a week or or a week. And I continue men -- her until the storm harsh about it at thirteen your adult. I knew at -- particular -- they -- December 16 and I would opt and -- -- -- special for her options. Are saying and hot read. Or leave it. Cap -- -- a lot and happy and Eric Carle book that I remember seeing her and does -- -- a lot with that's a wonderful young. Karl who is weak and two. World can't. I had been important for storm and find you're because I'll eat on record for quite different. Her how to market and apparently the way I could not -- her. Or her and then. Unfortunately. Found -- in -- in the pants stickier on. Talking about her death and the and it just a terrible terrible and tragic way I'm out -- -- Oh absolutely and -- to have known her issues growing up and spreading her wings and learning to read and enjoying life. Really puts it in perspective. The death like amid all of these domestic. Murders real. Are real people their real women who rule. Had regular lives at some point. Did you see anything in her personality that that you look back now and say why would she have been drawn to -- -- so significantly older. As a teenager. You know are on top question and answer are you a perfect and all the eight children. There -- lot of other people and our children out. And her older brother and became and try I allure allure of -- in the area. My conjecture that I -- he sort of broke away a little -- and I think that. She was shy. So. So retiring think that. I can only conjecture she might not follow -- -- the way somebody older should that. An exciting to wage and I remembered that it told me that -- and it got tackled her. And tried to get her pack and he had hoped he would basically opened it back on -- to get her back from me. In Germany where parent she. You know I actually saying she -- out and he'd better not try to -- and that was that action -- and very very concerned about it. Couldn't get more information. And I get some if you think young impressionable. Girl. Only. Sixteen years old sixteenth. And I think at least -- picture -- a tree your sheet that I have to try that order. I'm in pregnant at that point and -- Can only imagine how helpful purple must count them all of the fact that the storm trying to. Destroyed her go in a lot of foundations for. What was -- I took that cheap and I can't. They look for any longer because they shut school down can't. Hurt her she and her doubling I'll walk to school -- -- school bus they'll take another school and another part council. I don't know what -- architecture that pot aren't able to go to school any longer a lot of things that she had counted on. For -- the basis of her life. You spoke to her parents. Before she died but. Never got to see her again. Actually -- -- track where it went back to -- home and I did speak to. I'm so deep it was her father's sister who told me that. The mother left out. Our earlier than that. She tried to find her and not been able to get her back in the man. I like that out just after -- I'm. You know -- your gut check out the (%expletive) happily while so. That was a long long time -- I tried to find true once they won but they have no record of where family lives or. Op or where they had it is I went -- several times -- -- Didn't couldn't put it there it it was extremely frustrating and how -- they found her actually it was you know week. We can. Often help around her it directly cropped hair brown. I went there epic day because I felt it -- and that it's so heartbreaking at issue are still. Where we. So many times. It's our last our. And and I -- now where you are you with us. Cute and sweet lovely girl and when I operate talker could reach -- she. Was teaching her other neighbor. -- to read a round of house and she would teach them while -- -- on. Other two other kids. And -- just locally -- dot. -- I really cared about her lie cheat. Lie. Let me tell you she was lucky to -- -- in her life and it just. Brings home -- these are again real people with real lives and real hopes and and it is a loss. I want everyone to stay with this summer gonna continue our top about domestic violence stay with this financial and on WL. One in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. One point three million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year. Pretty astounding numbers. We are talking about the life and really the death of a young woman just 22 years old -- Johnson. Found murdered with the man who murdered her and then killed himself. And it's just down. It's just. A profound sorrow for every one. She was young mother now their two children don't have a mother. Her parents are devastated. If the ripple effect goes on and on. The man who murdered her. Had also been accused of murdering another woman. And acquitted. But so we see these things and yet something holes on. Tonya Kaplow who was some head of the domestic violence sort of division or clinic. At Tulane Law School is our special guest today -- -- Monica Davidson who was a tutor. To Letitia. When she was in each one save one program. So we're talking about a real human being who is no longer with this because of the actions of a man and yet we know the violence and the man. But this happens all the time. Sometimes to a lesser degree whether or not kill. But they're just beaten. We have we sometimes look at murders like this in shrug our shoulders and think oh well that's domestic so it couldn't happen to me it's not like some stranger breaking into your house. But the message here I think is that it could happen to you or your sister or your daughter. That it is so common and that until we understand it and care about it. And do something about it that it's always going to be true -- a lot of that is. Cultural mean we think about our teenagers and how to keep them away from this. We have these cultural messages that are very hard to do battle with about the -- ability to domestic violence mean if you look at the twilight series. It's all about to you know. Vampires and whereabouts spent about how you know your loved when your being Stockton watch that. Love his -- and sometimes involves physical violence but you forgive him because he doesn't mean to hurt you it's it's really astonishing stuff. And we have to be so careful. Of what we teach her daughters and also what we teach her sons to make sure this doesn't happen. And you know that isn't a lesson -- I wonder did this man who killed this young woman. Was he abused. Did he see his own father beat when -- where does -- come from we have. A lot of -- country and that cycle of family violence which is why it is so. Crucial that we in erupted that we take custody away from violent parents that we. Do something with the police and to intervene because. Not only is creating more more generations of domestic violence but it's also creating generations of violent criminals generally so a lot of these kits on the street. Shooting each other for sneakers or drugs I promise you almost all of them grow up and violent homes and if we. Made this a priority of our criminal justice system we would not only stop the violence against women in the child abuse of these families we would also be helping to prevent generations of future criminals from growing up. Learning the lessons of of violence is the way to get your way. But the other thing that happens in terms of not just cycle entitlements but. That this is the kind of beating that you can get away went right -- these are not man who can't control their tempered. They can control that temper it worked they don't beat up people and bars for the most part that they beat up people in their home because there are almost no consequences to back. Let's talk about the -- knew what we're really talking about right now is changing behaviors. And that is going to be a multifaceted thing. But you know very complex but the element of what is the law. Did this woman did to me. Letitia ever call the police and say I'm afraid. I don't know that I've seen some blogging on the newspaper stories that suggest that the family did that they did try to call but I don't know that in this case. What I do know is that we have a police department. And in New Orleans and also the surrounding communities actually trying harder -- it's doing more training that's. Working towards improving the they're up against attitudes about these cases. As both very difficult to say require really good police work as dangerous because it's the leading kind of -- police officers are killed. But also as. Upsetting because you have victims to can't trust you with the complexity of their situation on the scene who are often not necessarily grateful who are. Masking what's been done to them for a variety of reasons and so the officers start hitting these cases because they think the victims don't care and don't really understand how hard it is for them to reach out for help. Particularly if you're not sure to get it if you're not sure to get help. And you have accused this guy in front of him and and the police walk away then your values die right. You know it's also I've often thought. What do neighbors here what do friends see what do other family members say. Sometimes it's so delicate it's one thing to a complete stranger hey that guy's beating up that moment. But you've seen in a friend's house all of a sudden it's more. It more difficult. Or that's their life it's their business I'm intruding when you really should be saying wait a minute this is crazy. Right and I think that while -- encourage -- -- and put themselves in danger they should call for help but it. In societies where there are lower rates of domestic violence it's because it's considered shameful for the perpetrators not for the victim. And -- and that's when things will change here when we stop making an embarrassing for the victim who was gone through this. And make an embarrassing for the person who would Africa it is the vast majority of man. Would never lay a hand on a woman would never never do something like that and we need to treated as for those few who would. That -- is what's embarrassing not that the person they've chosen who just have a bad luck to be chosen has somehow done something to deserve. Perfect. We said please stay with us we're gonna continue our talk on domestic violence but now let's go to the newsroom and Christmas. Another woman has been killed by the man in her life at 22 year old woman but she should Johnston mother of two. Domestic violence it just keep talking about this you know in the last forty years we've been talking about this in this town. And it just doesn't seem to change. Have you been a victim of domestic violence how did you handle it. Do you know someone did you have a daughter or sister who might have been the victim of this what was your experience with the legal system. How does a woman get away. You know she was trying to get away she went back application went back of the house because she was owed money. It was a trap but she was making the moves to to be -- Other women do that to something you brought up on. Tonya tableau with -- in law school. Is that sometimes women are economically -- They do have children they may not. Of the education that may not have the career they may have the education but they don't have the Korean how to start again at forty with three kids -- do. It's. We can use the court system for about it child support spousal support there are ways to try to escape one thing we have in New Orleans it's been fantastic -- -- family justice center. It is a place where. You can get. The kind of social work counseling that you need but also meet with that DA's have focus on domestic violence are stationed there at that. New Orleans police detectives. Civil legal services so that you can try to get custody of your kids get a divorce legally disentangle yourself. So that's the really important step is that we have all that in one place after run around everywhere trying to find players that. It is right above the the downtown post office on whale has an office tower right next to -- on the second floor. You know it's funny I just heard about that that there was all under one roof which is very important so you've got the police there you've got. The legal mechanisms. Social worker and -- there is a place to go. Okay. Monica -- -- -- -- about Monica was so wonderful to call because she had. None of this young woman as a little girl helped her learn to read saw her as this. -- precious woman. And then of course Katrina hit her life gets scattered and somehow she gets involved with the -- significantly older man who had a violent past. And then again. You get trapped right and and I think as we focus off and on the getting trapped by it. These are rescinded its right batterers are the ultimate people who do this again and again so even if every victim in this community -- their batterer and immediately. The rates of domestic violence would quickly be the same because he would just pick somebody new. So this fixation we have on the victims somehow being the one to solve the problem is wrong we have to solve the problem of punishing of deterring of sending a message that the peace is Ron looked out on him. I'd like to say. Saints Q. For all your insights and I and what what. What can you mentioned earlier they -- but. Quite a lot and that is that apparently she occasional sixteenth. I am -- Went to that probably. Apparently. Do not. Now I'll be out there there was some top on that they been trying to get a free report filed them and personal -- report. At that station I'm not sure about that they they. Apparently at least -- this man out when she went -- there. And trite and basically they're they're people what they did it wasn't that a drastic -- our pain because it actually statutory rape she did Tina I. He was probably in forty. They told her to -- how. And I don't know I mean I I'd get. Speak somebody's door clicked -- yesterday about that makes it well she actually excuse me on her cell. They can't wrap him it's not the family accuses him. But she it is now she's only sixteen years while under the weight of the violent older man in that -- -- issue but aren't aware at all to prepare the person to basically. Essentially on her alone with it fearing retribution -- and how -- work out he's not a fine art. A lot of pressure put on her and why would it not be enough in my line that he's detaining young one at sixteen and forty. And and and why would not be enough to. Question Monica Italian. -- I'm just trying to remember weapons illegal crop the sixteen or younger than sixteen that may have been the problem but the report from the family should be enough -- there's no need for a -- child to complain that they are being statutorily raped an impact. If he got her pregnant. And you can very easily prove that it happened because you can just to DNA testing of the child mention that he's the father. Pleasure do an interview of him and often people will. Admit to statutory rape confessed to it because they think if if the girl -- consent somehow it's legal which it does not. And so there are lots of things that can be done. But it's it's ongoing battle with the police departments in our community to train and make -- officers understand that that they. Understand the law on the procedures and a lot of what I have seen lately is a separate issue but. Of officers thinking that if there are no marks on the victim who reports domestic violence that somehow they are not allowed to make an arrest. And it's both a misunderstanding of the law which does not require that but also of medicine that they think that she's lying if she is in -- mark sauter and don't understand the simple fact the -- show up later. And that you can get hit awful hard in certain parts your body and not have -- for that matter. So we have a lot of work to do and I know that they're trying diet is it true that. As in opposed to years past. Now if the police -- call and they do see someone with mark's. And -- that the the woman says no. Don't arrest him. That they have to rest of -- if -- police cents this as a bad thing and she's just afraid. They take that away from her. Right the police policy some of its. State law with a felony some of its policies that they should rest anyway that they figure out who the predominant aggressor is that they if they have probable cause that. The violence has occurred that they need to make the -- that it's wiggly. It's hard given everything the victim may go through. With trying to prosecute him both putting her life in danger but also financially devastating to her. It's really difficult process to balance those things. But ultimately the more power we give the victim to decide if he goes to jail the easier it is for the witness intimidation happen. And it did. A lot of time communities of the cases where we have the most threats against witnesses the victims to make sure that they don't testify. Stay with this we'll be right back we're talking domestic violence on Angela under the that you well. We are talking about domestic violence in particular -- most recent case of young 22 year old woman who was murdered. We are joined now by Vivian. Vivian you -- he should step -- Can you talk to us about what you've known. I am but it happened. In. Sixty years ago. Without putting is not like we did do the police they've got in that -- -- that looking and get him. I even by the press and that it certainly -- -- -- a little bit. But -- -- -- epithet a is it and it was there were. So. Without well it's place but luckily the portal on. Even recently we have. It was hit by. It did was she at some point to say do you I'm done with him. She did that. Here it. She won't bet it all up at least -- And he was mad because she can't call it that she made up and that she will not chronicled. You know what do you do Tonya do you get the restraining order we know that the figures restraining orders aren't great. A restraining orders can help. They often depend on how convinced the abuser is by them to stay away a lot of abusers will pay attention to them by the that'll stop a bullet in their -- people of -- of restraining order and then. The -- -- goes on buys a gun. And it's you can do that you can seek. Counseling from the family justice center and all of their help I wanna get that number which is 5924005594005. I you can try to get custody your kid you can call the police and urge them to help. All of this is important stuff and it's doable. But people just need to understand it's incredibly difficult that any of you listening out there if you found yourself the -- issues would have been similarly. Trapped by it. And even when she did believe that's win these women are most in danger of getting killed and that's what we need to understand is we can't tell these women. It's your fault because you don't leave but if you do leave you. Get murdered and then we don't pay attention to it 'cause we think it was your fault for being there in the first place that's just wrong. That Antonia tactic. I can say that I think it is in accounting and I've been a little bit touch with that the end to try to get information about. The funeral and all the current arrangement that. I -- and the response that I do you hear from people is why why did she keep going back or really her fault -- but he stopped on her. As opposed to this person. You know who opt for the predator. And and these young women often find it very difficult to find -- safe haven from the people. And hand and feel that they have they're protected from somebody like that. And I think that you know cute -- look at apple laws. Protecting women I think that those kinds of things need to be taken into account because I think there seems to be. Flop. Analytical. And -- -- issue in the young Whitman. Young girls really don't feel that they can rely on anyone for real protection something on there. You know but it goes back to what Tonya was saying the issue is the guy. He is the one who should be one either picked up by police and then given the counseling. Given that you know you there's something the matter with that mentality. That a control. Of wanting to being you know it certainly -- taking somebody's life but could anything have been done. To have gotten him. Two have gotten unless they help for him. Tell the government it was a good thing we're. That's what you get is decked out in my network is -- enough that it acted. She beatable but he was yet. She but the bulk of an issue with a company that's what order she was about but it can't. -- we have batter intervention treatment. And that is often what we use in our criminal justice system right now it's the only kind of crime every really sentence people the treatment of that -- and drug addiction. And but the research shows that it works really well for certain kinds of batterers but not very well from most of them. And they still have to completed I have to care they're all and it not voluntarily but because they are ordered to. So it's something we should definitely try and do batter with. But I think the most important message needs to be that you can go to jail for domestic violence and that's often not true right now you know it can be. But. For lots of reasons that are its cases are difficult but also a lack of prior does nation that is local system. It not many people go to jail for domestic violence and when that changes in the way it did for DW -- right we didn't take DW I it's very seriously. But we had both sort of a cultural changes lots of advertising and trying to make people understand why it was immoral but we also have this change of broken throw the book -- -- We're gonna take this very seriously and even if we don't fix it in those individual cases where we put people in jail they make everyone else think twice about doing it because they understand their consequence. Well I mean look at that look at this the person to appeal which rookie session. He got away -- -- prior burger you in the past and they let them opt out tree I mean what. Kind of what kind of -- to that sent to him and Q -- that the victim's family means. The fact he just stopped and bragged about it apparently and and keep you -- vulnerable -- I think I can do whatever. At least waited for the public but look this is not the first time he's ever done this before is basically. On. Right beat up like policies slated to hit those coming would you please all of maybe it is -- are -- -- No we haven't you. When we couldn't get inside I don't know that it was well and I waved at the opposite. But I don't it's an extension of her is she in -- their own whenever it is -- with their own it well. If he can meet people because you -- the I -- that morning the morning. -- we just turned out all -- in my mind. And called it epic that active active. This Vivian did location in that last year when she was separated from them. -- say she was afraid of them. With the freedom of afraid of him but we let him know that. I tell you -- and I'm so appreciative of this call Monica thank you very much for. For your insights into the the beautiful child she was and certainly -- -- we're getting of getting you back and back and back. Stay with the second one will be right back. If you need help go to the family justice under 5924005. Now let's go to the newsroom.