Shot in the line of duty. Twice awarded the Medal of Honor. Named New Jersey Police Officer of the Year. A highly decorated officer with an impeccable record. For 22 years police officer Eric Washington battled criminals on the streets of East Orange, New Jersey. On January 21, 2001 Washington was ambushed and brought down–not by an ex-convict bent on revenge or a shadowy gunman but instead by a false domestic violence accusation brought by a mentally ill woman.
Under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 and the 1996 Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban, individuals, including police officers and armed forces personnel, are prohibited from possessing a firearm if they are subject to a restraining order regarding an intimate partner. Yet restraining orders are notoriously easy to obtain. Unless the accused can get the order undone at a hearing–no easy feat in today’s climate–any police officer’s or serviceman’s career is one flimsy accusation away from destruction. In New Jersey, state policy dictates that men lose their weapons simply when a woman makes a police report of domestic violence.
For many fathers, the destruction is double. Since restraining orders are often used as first strike weapons in divorce, falsely accused officers often have their careers destroyed at exactly the moment they are slapped with stiff child support obligations, spousal support, and legal costs.
Washington and 40 other falsely accused officers have banded together to form the Police Officer Solidarity Commission and fight these policies. Seattle family law attorney Lisa Scott frequently defends men targeted by draconian domestic violence policies. Eric and Lisa joined Glenn on His Side with Glenn Sacks on April 10, 2005.
To learn more, see:
- Cathy Young’s Hitting below the belt: Easy to get, hellish to deal with, restraining orders have become the ultimate weapon in domestic disputes (Salon.com, 10/25/99)
- Woman Destroys Officer’s Career with Accusation Found to be Baseless then Demands Half His Police Pension–see Wife can keep share of pension in divorce (MSNBC, 3/25/05)
- Glenn’s column Baseball Player’s Domestic Violence Arrest Demonstrates How Men are Presumed Guilty in Domestic Disputes (Los Angeles Daily Journal, San Francisco Daily Journal, 8/8/02)
- John Brumbaugh’s story: After years of appeals, a technicality clears ex-police officer’s name (Daily Breeze, 3/8/05) John, who appeared on His Side on 4/13/03, is a former Torrance police officer who successfully fought for over seven years to clear his name and get his life back after being falsely accused of domestic violence.
- Stephen Baskerville’s No Restraint on Restraining Orders (Human Events, 8/5/02)
- Glenn’s column New Report on Maternal Homicide Crisis: Myth-Making and Manbashing (Lexington Herald-Leader, 1/3/05)
- Glenn’s column ‘Fatal Fathers’ Myth Promoted in Wake of Peterson, Hacking Cases (Daily Breeze [Los Angeles], 9/17/04)
- Glenn’s column Attacks on American Muslims Reaffirm Wisdom of 2nd Amendment (Pasadena Star-News & Affiliated Papers, 9/19/01)
- FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA–a challenge to the Lautenberg amendment.
- His Side: Restraining Orders: Saviors of Abused Women or Child Custody Tactic? (2/27/05)
- His Side: Father Spends 3 Months in Jail for Returning Phone Call (9/7/03)
- His Side: Liz Taylor’s Son-in-Law Says Taylor, Daughter Kidnapped His Two Year-Old Son (4/11/04)
- His Side: Seattle Press Brands Cops as Batterers (8/3/03)
- A comprehensive discussion of the both the politics and practical aspects of dealing with false allegations can be found in The Father’s Emergency Guide to Divorce-Custody Battle by Robert Seidenberg and William Dawes, Esq.