- Category: Justice
- Published: Thursday, 15 February 2024 16:37
- Written by Lawrence A Robinson
When responding to a domestic violence situation, for instance, law enforcement officers are expected to arrest any person who commits a crime related to domestic violence as defined by law, unless there is a clear and compelling reason not to arrest, such as self-defense or lack of probable cause, after a comprehensive investigation to identify the predominant aggressor.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) defines “predominant aggressor” as “the individual who poses the most serious, ongoing threat, which may not necessarily be the initial aggressor in a specific incident”.
To determine the predominant aggressor, police officers may evaluate each person individually and consider a number of factors such as who uses threats and intimidation in the relationship, who has a history of violence, who has caused the most damage, and who has the most to gain from the incident.
Mandatory arrest laws, while originally-well intentioned, resulted in a greater number of arrested women in domestic violence cases. Victims may utilize violence to pre-emptively avert an attack from the aggressor or in self-defense. However, law enforcement may improperly assess or document these situations, or even allow incidents to go unacknowledged.