Second NOPD Officer Faces Felony Domestic Abuse Charges

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – For the second time in less than a week, a New Orleans police officer has been charged with a felony stemming from alleged domestic battery.

“I’m surprised actually that we haven’t heard of more of these instances,” Tulane University Sociologist Charles R. Figley said.

He’s talking about New Orleans police officers accused of domestic abuse.

Within the past four days two separate officers have been charged with domestic battery.

Officer Christopher Carter faces one count of domestic abuse battery, and another count of domestic abuse battery involving strangulation.

Friday — the NOPD announced detective Robert Hurst was charged with attempted second degree murder relative to simple battery, stemming from allegations of domestic abuse.

It’s a well-known fact that New Orleans police officers work in a high stress environment, in high risk situations, and with a shortage of officers.

Tulane University Sociologist Charles Figley.

“The pressure is intense and so when you’re come home its very hard to both calm down from that and also respond in an appropriate way.”

Recent studies found at least 40-percent of police officer families experience domestic violence. That’s in contrast to 10-percent of families in the general population; which indicates domestic violence is 2 to 4 times more common among police families than families in general.

People we talked to say job related stress is no excuse.

“There’s no excuse at all. I don’t think being a police officer. Stress is any justification for that so I don’t think it’s right regardless,” Melanie Cowan said.

“I mean everyone experiences stress. You got to deal with it yourself. You can’t do things that aren’t right you know,” Avery Kindler said.

Figley agrees.

“Never an excuse, explanation, but never an excuse. You just don’t hit, hurt, and harm especially purposely the people you love, you care about or that are weaker than you. There’s no excuse what so ever,” Figley said.

The Public Integrity Bureau is investigating allegations against the veteran officers.

Both officers have been placed on emergency suspension without pay.


  • charles figley

    Nice report.
    I hope that the NOPD recognize the down side of not containing work-related stress from affecting the home life of its officers. Tulane University stands ready to help NOPD in both helping officers manage their stress personally and in performing their duties as a father, husband, and son — or female officers ans mothers, wives, and daughters.
    Charles Figley

  • sugahunny

    No doubt there are more cases like these that go unreported. I'm sure most of the victims at one point or another felt they could go to the abusive officers superiors and thought they'd get some sort of support from them…I can almost say without a doubt that, that "thin blue line" was set up to keep these things covered up. Most jobs are stressful and we have to learn to deal with them without violence…especially towards those we claim to love. I've never been in a relationship where violence comes into play, but if you're shown that side once…you'll see it again!

  • Diane

    Mr. Figley, I think you have that backwards. Stress is an excuse, not an explanation. The explanation is that these are violent people who abuse their spouses because they think they won't get charged due to their line of work. My husband is an EMT. He has an extremely stressful job, but would never dream of laying a hand on me. Quite the opposite, he would defend me from anyone who tried to hurt me. I was in an abusive relationship as a teen. I know the types of people who commit domestic violence. A lot of time, they are the ones who take jobs in authority positions, such as law enforcement. Too often, these perpetrators are never reported because the victims are too scared it will just make things worse (and I think they are right). My "high school sweetheart" went on to become a correction officer at our local jail. He has since left that job and been charged with assault many times. We’ve seen many incidences in the news of officer abusing their power. We would be fools to think they didn’t abuse that power at home too.

  • badcop.nodonut

    put this cop in the general population. if cops knew their behavior might be a death sentence maybe they'd quit behaving like pigs.

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