Thursday, April 23, 2009

All That We Can Do

Sometimes, you do all that you can do. And it isn't enough to stop the evil from happening.

A suspect beat his baby’s momma within an inch of her life. He was stopped by a witness who came to her rescue with a shovel. The police were unable to arrest the suspect when they found him, much later. They didn’t get there when the assault was happening, and the Defendant didn’t appear to be an immediate threat of continuing domestic violence when they made contact. That’s one of the deals about arresting people. It has to be done within the scope of the law, and the law said it couldn’t be done. Any conviction obtained if that arrest had gone down would be thrown out, and the suspect free to do it again.

A warrant for his arrest was filed. That’s all that could be done. The rest depends on the suspect getting arrested. Hopefully, an officer will see him on the street and make the arrest. Maybe a traffic stop ends up with the suspect getting flagged because the warrant shows up in the computer. Maybe he’s caught in the act of another crime. Maybe he dies of a drug overdose, or is killed by one of his buddies in a drug crazed fit of rage. Maybe a detective gets lucky and finds him after a diligent search.

Maybe the Defendant slips under the radar altogether.

The same suspect this weekend broke into a house where his baby momma had taken refuge with a nice couple. She made it out the window and lived.

Her rescuers didn’t. They were murdered. Horribly. They were in their 20's. Their life extinguished because they chose to love their neighbor, and shelter a domestic violence victim.

It’s sad, and senseless. But the fault does not lie with law enforcement. They did all they could, all the law allowed them to do. It wasn’t enough.