Police car

Police handcuffed by DV policy

Mandatory and pro-arrest policies pushed by radical feminists and the federal government regarding domestic violence have all but eliminated officer discretion on the matter throughout the country.  Fear of the potential consequences for using discretion has our officers in a headlock.  Few have the moral courage to exercise it resulting in many unnecessary arrests that consequently damage the American family.


A woman has been drinking adult beverages throughout the evening.  Her husband and she argue over finances.  She tries to walk to the car and he grabs her by the wrist in order to prevent her from driving.  She screams, pulls away and falls twisting her ankle in the driveway while the kids look on.  The neighbor calls 911.  Upon arrival officers separate the couple and interview them individually.  The woman is crying.  She has a red mark on her wrist and a swollen ankle consistent with her account of events and those of the neighbor, husband and children.   The injuries are minor.  She refuses medical attention.  There is no history of domestic violence on file between the couple and the “victim” does not want her husband arrested. Despite her protests, he is arrested for domestic battery and the enhancement section – in the presence of children.   

This scenario illustrates how unnecessary arrests set in motion a chain of events more damaging than anything that took place prior to law enforcement being called:  The husband is arrested in front of his family and neighbors.  A No Contact Order (NCO) is issued forbidding him from seeing his kids and wife or contacting them by phone or through a third-party.  He has to pay for bond or will miss work.  He must spend money living out of the home and even more money for an attorney  unless he qualifies for the public defender. He cannot possess a firearm or ammunition while the NCO stands.

Peace officers sometimes seize these items stripping the suspect of his Second Amendment right without Due Process; as if a man is less deadly without a gun.  The humiliation, family separation and financial burden stemming from this unnecessary arrest are a strain on the family brought about by overzealous arrest policies. Unnecessary arrests  damage the American family and contribute to its further breakup.  Not to mention the countless number of otherwise innocent men that are processed through the criminal justice system and who will be forever stained and stigmatized with an arrest record that can affect their employment, future job prospects, and other avenues of advancement.

Pro-arrest policies are adopted by law enforcement administrators out of fear of  tort claims, fear of the feds de-funding  grants and fear of bad press.  Fear is inculcated in officers through yearly in-service training.  Arresting for the slightest, explainable injury is fail-safe. Officers pass the buck to prosecutors, placing them in an untenable situation.  Many of  these cases are resolved by a plea to the lesser charge of disturbing the peace.  Sometimes defendants take a plea deal only to expedite the reunification of family, the restoration of  rights, and reduce the financial bleeding.

Consider this. In 2003, twenty-one year old Angie Leon of Nampa, Idaho, was murdered by her estranged husband, Abel Leon ─ a known criminal alien. Over a five-year period, Leon had fifty-nine contacts with law enforcement; almost all resulted in arrest. Thirty-five of the fifty-nine concerned domestic violence. Angie told authorities numerous times Leon would kill her. There is no crystal ball. Authorities cannot arrest for something that might happen. After fifty-nine professional police contacts, Angie’s murder was not the result of failed police-prosecutor work, but rather of the failure of Immigration, Customs Enforcement (ICE).  Nonetheless, Idaho’s self-insured communities risk management plan (ICRMP) paid out $925,000 to her mother.

Cases like Leon are referenced in domestic violence training poisoning the well of police discretion.  In 2011 there were seventeen deaths in Idaho related to domestic violence.  Like Angie, domestic violence laws/policies did not save those victims.   In fact, there is no way to know if domestic violence laws and pro-arrest policies reduce the number of injuries and deaths or contribute to them ─ by holding victims hostage in their circumstances.  Could a victim’s past experiences with overzealous arrest policies make them less likely to call 911 when all she wants is for officers to preserve the peace while she collects her toothbrush and leaves?

The argument in support of domestic violence laws is built on the premise that the existing misdemeanor and felony assault and battery laws are insufficient given the unique psychological aspects of a (female) victim trapped in a cycle of domestic violence. The state wanted more power to intercede and prosecute on behalf  of women paralyzed by fear, confusion and control.

Sometimes the state does know best, but few cases prosecuted as domestic battery fit the kinds of controlling abuse that proponents of the law argued it was intended to address. In these mismatched cases what makes matters worse is when the unwilling victim turns hostile and recants saying she lied to police.  This makes it more difficult to prosecute in a true or future case because the victim’s credibility is damaged.

In addition, the underlying premise for the law may be flawed. The media ignore studies like Domestic Violence: The Male Perspective, where it states: “Domestic violence is often seen as a female victim/male perpetrator problem, but the evidence demonstrates that this is a false picture.” This and other studies show men are as often the victims of domestic violence as women, but they under report.

Domestic violence laws are redundant, gender biased, overreaching and too often bring unjust outcomes to the families they are purported to protect. Compounding this is the fact that the kinds of injuries considered to distinguish a misdemeanor domestic battery from a felony domestic battery is lower ─ and far more subjective ─ than the kinds of injuries that typically distinguish non-domestic misdemeanor batteries from non-domestic felony (aggravated) batteries.

The co-existing statutes for traditional misdemeanor battery, misdemeanor assault, aggravated battery, aggravated assault, and stalking are sufficient to address the very real issue of domestic violence.

Repealing domestic violence law is unlikely. The alternative? ─ Restoring discretion. The relative autonomy of the Office of Sheriff is pivotal in modeling this change.   Yes, the feds could investigate and prosecute under federal domestic violence law.  Yes, the DOJ could de-fund grants to Sheriffs who stand by their oath and row against the federally adopted, radical feminist narrative. Yes, the press will spin the move toward discretion casting the Sheriff a neanderthal. So be it.

Discretion is not license for peace officers to be lazy and leave when they should arrest. Until crystal balls are issued to peace officers  ─ reason, not fear ─ should steer their actions in our homes.

About Benjamin Barr

Benjamin Barr is a twenty-eight year veteran lawman. His assignments included patrol officer, field training officer, SWAT and Street Team member (a proactive patrol unit that targeted series related crimes, gangs and other special projects). He is also the author of "Red Badge: An Officer's Commentary on the Influence of Marxism on Law Enforcement in AmeriKa."

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  • greg

    Thank you Ben.

  • http://shiningpearlsofsomething.blogspot.com Suz

    Oh hells yes! Thank you!!!

  • http://manamongoaks.com/index.html Ray

    The first thing that should clearly go, IMO, is the gender feminists’ “gender-based-violence” model” (man bad/woman good), that VAWA STOP grants mandate be used to train police. Until then police will have gender feminist (Stalinist idiots) as trainers.

    Domestic violence policies should address any family violence issues based on the individuals and their “involvement.” Instead of criminally arresting in minor cases, couples should be cited (or not) and referred to counselors to address their specific family issues, IMO.

    That all makes too much sense and would severely undermine the costly system of insanity set up by gender feminists and their powerful political ilk so I expect little change in the near future.

  • http://manamongoaks.com/index.html Ray

    Nicely thought out and written. I agree with many of the realistic approaches laid out, but I’d approach it from an even more family friendly/problem solving basis, and try to minimize police and criminal justice involvement as much as possible in all but the more serious, or repeat cases.

    The gender feminists’ gender-based violence model (man bad/ woman good), that’s presently used to train police and handle domestic violence, isn’t working for families, or law enforcement. On that, I believe everyone heartily agrees, except those dedicated to witch-hunting males.

  • TheBiboSez

    I’d bet feminist ninnies like “not-all-men-are-like-that” (see her comments deep into the “Why feminism is poisoning Atheism” thread) will see articles like this as “proof feminism is still needed” – because trained LEOs still need to be whipped like dogs into giving up their experience and judgment by their feminist masters.

    Anyway, thank you, officer Barr for your courage and wisdom in standing up for the truth and justice of men’s rights. Your honesty and bravery do you proud.

  • dhanu

    In the mentioned scenario, the man was trying to stop the wife from drunk driving, that would actually have HER fined or ticketed or arrested (whatever the rules are for drunk driving). Next time, I’m sure he would let her drive, even if that results in some serious mishap.

    I cannot currently find a link to the news story but there’s a similar real case of a man once noticing a child rolling along a pond of water. (The mom had left it there to falsely claim that the child got lost, in order to take some kind of revenge on her partner). The laws at the place were bad for men approaching the kids, so the said man didn’t bother. The kid drowned.

    Such laws that treat a group of people as inhuman result in that group becoming indifferent toward such a society. If a member of that group tries to help, that member gets the punishment; otherwise, the rest of the society loses several willingly helpful hands. In any case, the inhumanity ensues.

    • TheBiboSez

      Yikes – a few months ago I found a drunk woman passed out on dark street at 3AM in a bad neighborhood. I contacted the police and waited with her until they arrived. (I’ve written extensively about this elsewhere.)

      One odd question they asked me was “Are you with her?” I said no – I didn’t even know her; I had just noticed her as I was walking home.

      I just realized (as a result of this article) that they were sizing me up as a DV suspect. Holy crap.

      Maybe next time I’ll just keep on walking and leave the unconscious girl to whatever brutal fate is in store for her.

      • http://manamongoaks.com/index.html Ray

        “I just realized (as a result of this article) that they were sizing me up as a DV suspect. Holy crap.”

        Yep, it’s another sad commentary on VAWA, but law assisted shake downs of men are a routine part of certain women’s modus operandi.

        I’ve already abandoned my Midwestern hospitality to women on a number of similar occasions because of just such possibilities. What if the woman you mentioned had saw enough of you to describe you, then made up some cock and bull story? Who would get the benefit of the doubt?

        In one situation, I found out later from a security guard that a woman feigning to be out of gas and alone had a male companion waiting around the corner of the parking structure in which she confronted me. She approached me begging for gas money. I said “no,” whipped out my cell phone and told her “I’m dialing the cops,” then reported her to the business’ security guard. Maybe she was out of gas, or maybe she was up to worse. Of course, I didn’t call the cops. I do not trust them.

  • TheUnknown

    I can’t describe how great it would be to see a law enforcement agency blow off those policies, get defunded, and then challenge the law in court.

  • Codebuster

    I welcome this post by Benjamin. Sometimes you wonder whether the police are taking on the mantle of white knight and executing their own personal brand of chivalric justice as a law unto themselves. I’m sure some are, but we need reassurance that they are in the minority. We needed to hear this.

  • bubbajoebob

    The UK does not have these “must arrest” laws, and the PCs have significant leeway to use their own judgement. However, my STBX had learned that no matter what she did to threaten me, when the police arrived it was always me they wanted to arrest or send away. Not the officers themselves, they saw the fraud, but when they phoned it in to their sergeant the response was always to remove me. Fortunately, I had a guest house to retreat to and avoided arrest, which would have been the end of any opportunity for custody.

    So on the night that she tried to lock me out (despite the PCs repeatedly warning her that she could not block the children from me nor me from them) and then called the police telling them that I had a big knife and a machete and I was in the house and I was dangerous (notice she never said I was holding the knife or threatening her with it, she just threw the pieces together and let the cops make assumptions), I knew the cops were coming again, and there was no way it would end well. So I grabbed the children and drove to a friend’s house. I called the police on the way and told them where I was going. They (PCs who had been to our hosue before) came to check on us, and were genuinely pleased that I had eliminated the need to arrest me; in fact, they got to go warn her to stay away from us or be arrested herself. Four days later I became legally the residential parent and she was court-ordered to vacate the house.

    Ben, how can an American male achieve the same thing in the states? Especially in a must-arrest state, it would seem that a man taking the children to a safe place away from the abusive spouse would actually change the situation in a way far more beneficial to the children.

  • BlueBlood

    Here in my home state, Queensland, we have just adopted the philosophy that the “most in need of protection” shall be left in the dwelling and the other party arrested. This is to be done regardless of circumstance. That means, of course, that the male will be arrested due to physical size – the old, “How is that little lady going to hurt that big fella?” attitude. This philosophy has been adopted by the powers that be have realised that Police Officers with discretion have been arresting women at a rate inconsistent with the way the DV industry would have it.

    What’s more frightening is the way it’s being abused. Not just by women who are well aware of the way the system works, by the Police themselves. It’s well-known that magistrates are most inclined to give a custodial sentence when a breach of DV protection order is involved. With this in mind, a detective recently had a conversation with me regarding a prolific break and enter offender (In Australia, unlike in the USA, courts are unwilling to impose custodial sentences until absolutely forced). The detective said to me, and I quote, “This fucking magistrate is just taking the piss. We need to get rid of this cunt (the offender). I need you to follow this cunt around, get a DV order on him, and breach him on it. Put a not to consume (alcohol) clause on it and test the fucker three times a day.”
    A means to an end, maybe, the bloke is a bad person. But I just hung my head in shame.

    And despite the orders, I’ve yet to find this fella around town. He must have the cloak of invisibility on :-)

  • https://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Voice-for-Men/102001393188684 Paul Elam

    OT: Erica Jarvis of the Toronto Standard has published an interview with me for those interested.

    It’s not perfect, but she actually did a good job, IMO, at infusing some balance into her perspective.

    Comments there are open.


    • scatmaster

      Good interview!!!!!
      Wish I could stick around and make some comments both here and there but the evil patriarchy has forced me to take down the Christmas tree, clean the house, laundry, ironing, etc. Must all be done before the “breadwinner” gets home. She would not be pleased if her dinner is not on the table as well. Oh, the evil patriarchy!!!!!

    • Stu

      I say it is a thinly veiled hit peace actually. But….any press….

    • Reggie

      No publicity is bad publicity.

    • Kimski


    • http://mrathunderinthehammer.blogspot.com/ Dannyboy

      Commented lets see if it makes it past moderation.

      “While I wouldn’t line the birdcage with this I still find the portrayal of the MRM and Paul to be somewhat off.
      Men have been trying to get their voices heard for more years than I care to remember, all for not.
      Polite didn’t and hasn’t worked, the usual channels (political) didn’t work either.
      I’ve been involved with AVfM for sometime now, and have the utmost respect for Paul.
      I don’t see one feminist organization out there advocating to end the negative issues affecting men and boys these days.
      I do see them compounding the issues and sweeping them under the rug.

      I fly the AVfM flag here in Hamilton Ont high. I could care less if some feminists feelings get hurt by the truth and facts or by me exposing them for their hate filled words and actions.

      I have no qualms about putting their words and actions up on the net.
      They said it, they acted that way, they own all of it.
      Now that they have been exposed for the hate filled ideologically driven individuals they are, they have decided to play the victim.
      They weren’t victims they were the bullies.

      Why didn’t they want to be interviewed now I wonder?
      They could have kept their anonymity by you referring to them as person a, b, c, or d.
      I know why, they are now just realizing that men and women in the MRM are not going to put up with their lies or shit any more.
      Good people are waking up to the feminist lie and aren’t happy about it or the money being funneled into feminist organizations via our tax dollars.

      So enjoy your limelight exposed feminists from U of T, You earned your page on regist-her.com.

  • http://www.deanesmay.com Dean Esmay

    This really gave me heart. While the issue of violent females isn’t addressed here, I’ve talked to no less than three people in law enforcement who view the issue of violent females with amusement, and in any case have had cops tell me with straight faces that they’ve never seen a man get attacked by his spouse/girlfriend who hadn’t done “something to deserve it” and otherwise pretty obviously just accept unquestioningly that men are abusers, women are battered, and act as if there are nothing millions of Nicole Brown Simpsons out there.

  • AntZ

    Very nice work.

  • Robert St. Estephe

    Thank you for addressing this. Sheriff Richard Mack and his campaign for “constitutional sheriffs” is, to my mind, the key to the practical solution. Anti-feminists who are not familiar with the Constitution and its early history keep their focus on the annoying girls and then plead for the overlords to reform the system and do not realize that is a man’s job to run his own community poitically: by ward, town county, state. The Constitutionalist approach takes guts and education and is not appealing to the slavish-minded among us who want to beg our maters to “reform” themselves.

    I hope that every MRA will familiarize himself — or herself — with Sheriff Richard Mack (Youtube) and think this through. If they reject the approach, then they will reject it at least from an informed position.

  • http://menzmagazine.blogspot.com/ Factory

    Awww, those poor cops! Having their hands tied like that…..sad state of affairs.

    Also, unmitigated bullshit. The cops were the ones to back the feminists on these laws. Police associations all over the world DIVE at the chance to have these sorts of powers, and always have.

    I’m not a fan of the police, myself. OK, more to the point I wouldn’t trust a cop as far as I can throw him, and even less so if it’s a girl cop….ever, for anything. To further beat the dead horse…should those ‘apocalyptic’ visions of the future come to pass, I hope cops the world over pay…and pay well…for the abuses they have heaped on the populace. Especially on men.

    As to the thrust of the argument…that bad Law is a bad thing….sure, I can get behind that.

    But I will never…repeat NEVER….believe cops aren’t smirking in their donuts every time they think of the shit they can lay on a guy with almost nothing to back it up.

    Thugs and tyrants, every last fucking one of them.

    I’m just sayin’…

    • dhanu

      Everyone likes to play victim every once in a while. So why not the cops now? 😀 They’re the victims of the evil DV policies. They don’t have any agency, except when it comes to collecting their paychecks. So they must not be held accountable for their actions.

      Sounds familiar.

      • Stu

        The cops have more to worry about then not being able to exercise discretion of act on facts. They have to worry about when their fellow police get the call to come to their house. Then they see what I mean when I say……just following orders doesn’t cut it…….if you job requires you to do evil……either stand up and speak out……or quit……..if not……you are the problem.

        • dhanu

          Yeah, that only. I was being sarcastic.

  • donzaloog

    Very enlightening. DV is a very touchy issue and there is a lot of room to fuck up on both sides. Discretion is definitely needed on this issue.

  • http://mrathunderinthehammer.blogspot.com/ Dannyboy

    Thanks for writing this Ben.
    I know there are some good officers out there just wish they would speak up and out more as you have.

    • Kimski