Last evening April 17, 2014, two officers were killed in a middle class neighborhood of Indianapolis. The two officers shared a particular life event that is common in the world. They were at one time married. I suppose the facts are really not necessary in a case like this. The police officers both veterans of the Indianapolis Police Department (IMPD) met on the job were married and then last fall divorced. The female officer took out an order of protection following unspecified threats, the brass of the IMPD removed the male officers weapons and put him on administrative leave pending investigation. It will be ruled a murder suicide and but for the fact that each were police officers it would have been forgotten, part of a news cycle that just marches on.
The difference here is that domestic violence hit home and hit my city in a big way. I write today not because this is rare, rather because it is not. I do not know why when men and women profess their love then one or both call it quits that violence is too often the end result. It happens too much in my community and the state I love, it happens too often in your place and the place you love wherever that is. Because once is too often and twice is too much and three times seems like it is common and well four times and it is old news and by the fifth time we do not even acknowledge how wrong it is.
In this case, I am certain there are reasons. More than a few, I imagine. He did that, she this and before long we have death and destruction. It becomes an escalation a tit for tat that never ends well. We humans dislike losing possessions.
This female officer had become a possession she had lost her right of choice, she no longer wished to coexist with her husband and for that reason, call it a macho instinct or jealousy or whatever he choose to break into her residence and kill her. It was a bitter end to an awful string of events being played out in uniform, by a public servant who should have known better but didn’t or couldn’t face the truth. She no longer wished to be married to him and that was enough to risk his career and finally take two lives.
Domestic abuse is about control. It can be perpetrated by a man or a woman; sadly it is mostly done by men against women (I say sadly because I am a man) but not always. Control here can substitute for possession. When a person becomes an object it is the first step to control issues. I want what is mine but when can we learn that you cannot possess another person? When will we learn that control is never a reason to murder someone? I doubt the female officer was blameless. But no amount of blame can constitute enough reason to murder her. This was a one sided event in Indianapolis last night. Yes a domestic event the kind of event that police officers always say are the very worst type to respond too. I have heard more than one police officer say there are no winners in a domestic call. Last night there were no winners, in fact my entire community awoke sickened by the news today.
I could point to a thousand things that are the main cause. The objectifying of women, the imbalance of economic resources, the shift in the balance of economic resources, the tough winter, the hot summer, maybe how he disliked spring, I mean really who knows? The fact is that people all people need the ability to decide when enough is enough and let it be.
Children can survive divorce; we as a society have shown they can. We do know that men and women can move on. Yes it is true, I came from a two parent family that never divorced, and so did my wife. We have formed a two parent family that has not divorced, thus far our children have not divorced, so many people might say you just don’t know the pain and heart ache of a divorce and yes it is true I do not. But one thing I do know is the pain and heartache of losing two police officers in one single act of violence. That pain reverberates with me, in this community and around my state this morning.
In a week or less the story will be something else. It will be about a traffic backup or another homicide in our city. It will be about crime or loss of jobs or the promise of jobs. But the fact remains this story this morning need not have been told. Domestic violence is preventable, the only thing that will never prevent it is if a community, our online community or my physical community fails to acknowledge it and repudiate the perpetrator. People are not objects. They make decisions and yes act irrationally, but irrational or not there is no justification for striking a spouse or former spouse with a hand, a weapon or in this case a bullet. None!
Oh and about this story not being about Diabetes? Don't kid yourself diabetics are people first and this is a people issue, we as a community have diabetics who face these issues every day. I hope we are open enough to acknowledge domestic violence is a problem all around, even in our community.
For coverage of the tragic event I suggest you look at one of the electronic media outlets in Indianapolis. Here is a good one: