Just five hours before she was brutally stabbed to death outside her apartment on Valentine’s Day, Tiana Notice had told police that her ex-boyfriend continued his harassment of her.
Unfortunately, the system designed to protect domestic violence victims failed Notice. The last time her voice would be heard was in her 911 call, in which she screamed that James Carter III, the man later charged with her murder, had stabbed her.
Notice had repeatedly sought help in the weeks before her death, asking police in Waterbury, Plainville and Bloomfield to enforce a restraining order against Carter.
The Hartford Courant reports that Notice’s pleas to police officials were met with “lethargy, dismissive attitudes and even sarcasm.”
Overbooked courts and overworked law enforcement systems often mean that violations of restraining and protective orders take a back seat to other, more pressing matters. But when someone’s life is on the line, they shouldn’t.
Improvements for Handling Violations of Domestic Violence
Connecticut’s Victim Advocate, Michelle Cruz, recently made several recommendations for overhauling the process by which police and courts handle violations of restraining orders and protective orders. Her recommendations include the following:
- Quicker arrests: whenever there is probable cause, police should arrest those accused of violating protective orders. Cruz recommends that prosecutors move more quickly to sign warrant applications in cases involving domestic violence.
- Create consistency: police agencies and courts should establish uniform policies for handling violations of no-contact orders.
- No notice: alleged domestic violence offenders should never be notified that they’ll be arrested.
- Training: police and judges should get more training in handling domestic violence cases.
- Access: ensure that courts have access to the criminal records of alleged domestic violence offenders.
Effective Protective Measures
The tragedy of Tiana Notice can’t be undone, but perhaps with these recommendations, effective measures can be taken to prevent future tragedies.
Never face domestic violence alone. Contact a Fairfield, Connecticut family law attorney experienced in effective representation in matters involving domestic violence, and restraining order and protective order hearings.