The Topeka City Council repealed their domestic violence law today in a gruesome show of gamesmanship using some of the city least protected people as pawns. The repeal is bad enough, but this scares me more:
Eighteen people have been arrested on domestic violence charges since September and released without charges because no agency is accepting new cases. That has raised concerns among advocates for victims of domestic violence, some of whom gathered Tuesday outside government buildings to express outrage over the gamesmanship.
For District Attorney Chad Taylor’s explanation of why his response to a 10% budget cut was to stop prosecuting all misdemeanors (including domestic battery). As of posting, Shawnee County Commissioner, First District, Shelley Buhler has not responded to my request for comment on whether she had a responsibility to help the DA find a way to absorb her budget cuts without disserving victims.
Scary stuff. To be clear, there is still a state-level domestic violence law on the books. The entire point of this political maneuveuring was to force the state to pay to prosecute Topeka’s violent partners. Whether they’ll have time and money to do so is unclear.
As a palate cleanser to the above horror, here is an inspiring/enraging video a friend passed along:
Who wants to run for President now?
UPDATE: DA Chad Taylor has resumed prosecutions according to The Guardian.
“A hundred men together are the hundredth part of a man.”–Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin