Friday, December 19, 2008

Deputy Had Previous Restraining Order


Domestic violence victim advocates said they're concerned about the events that led up to the arrest of a Milwaukee County sheriff's deputy accused of shooting his girlfriend.

The 39-year-old deputy's ex-wife got a restraining order against him just two years ago, saying he threatened to kill her.

The deputy's ex-wife told a judge in 2006 the deputy threatened to kill her.

The judge found her claims credible enough to issue a restraining order, but the judge didn't bar him from carrying a firearm. He didn't ever turn that gun on her, but his new girlfriend is now accusing him of shooting her in the face.

It was a terrifying night Monday near 91st Street and Brown Deer Road when the 31-year-old woman fled from her condominium with a gaping gunshot wound to her face.

She said the 39-year-old deputy -- her boyfriend and the father of her child -- followed her, firing five times into a neighbor's home where she ran for help.

A 12-year-old girl there was wounded.

"It's an illustration that anybody who is in the situation is, can be potentially hurt -- bystanders, advocates, neighbors, people who are trying to intervene. It's a very lethal and dangerous situation when a perpetrator decides to kill or harm their victim," said Carmen Pitre of the Task Force on Family Violence.

Domestic abuse victim advocates said even when there are warning signs, when the abuser is in law enforcement, the cases can be especially difficult.

The deputy's ex-wife had a restraining order granted against him in 2006, writing, "He will kill me. He said it doesn't matter who I tell. No one can protect me. He would make it his mission in life to hurt me."

"Law enforcement officers have access to more resources, more power, and this issue really is about power and control. When I read the statement that he said, 'I'll make it my mission in life to hurt you,' what that means for a law enforcement official is they do have the power. They have institutionalized power behind them," Pitre said.

The ex-wife continued her statement saying, "He said he will do it, and he won't get caught."

"As a community, ordinary citizens, we should all be concerned about people who have issues with power and control, who are law enforcement officers, because they make us all less safe," Pitre said.

Bohr asked for an interview with Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke about whether he was aware of the prior restraining order against the deputy, but he did not answer the request.

The case is still being reviewed by the district attorney. There are no charges yet. The deputy remains in jail.

Previous Story: December 16, 2008: Updated: Deputy Arrested In Connection With Shooting

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