Victims advocates get significant tool in fight against domestic violence

Moving New Orleans Forward

NEW ORLEANS— A big victory has been announced for for victims of domestic violence. The New Orleans Police Department will now include whether the person accused owns or posses a gun in the police report.

One would think this has always been the case, but that isn’t so.

Simone Levine, Executive Director of the non-profit Court Watch NOLA explains, “Often times police department officials do ask the question but it’s not actually in the information that is given to judges that are making decisions on bail and whether somebody should be released or not.”

A new partnership with the city’s health department partners, the NOPD, and Court Watch NOLA made the question on the police report happen.

Simone Levine, Executive Director of COurt Watch NOLA (WGNO-TV)

Levine continued, “If the question isn’t asked, then the gun cannot be tranferred over to a third party, which usually is the sheriff. That’s what the law requires.”

Court Watch NOLA addressed the issue in their 2019 report, and what they found out is that judges weren’t asking the question, in part, because they weren’t given the information by police.

“If the accused says no I don’t possess a gun, but the crime victim’s already said ‘yes, you do’ then the judge actually has that information to go back to,” said Levine.

According to Levine, 69% of the cases where a woman was killed by a man in Louisiana, the victim was killed with a gun. The partners involved in this initiative see this as long overdue.

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