HOUSTON (FOX 26) - “I’ve only been here for a little over a year but it’s been my observation that too frequently our officers are going to domestic violence scenes and no one goes to jail because there’s a reject by the D.A.’s office,” said Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.
The chief says he’s made another troubling observation. Too many people in Harris County are literally dying to end an abusive relationship.
“It’s not even that their aggressor intentionally meant to kill them that day,” said domestic abuse survivor Lovinah Igbani.
Last fall Linda Pena didn’t live to see her 40th birthday because her common law husband admitted to police he shot her in the face.
Men too lose their lives in domestic disputes.
32-year-old Steven Coleman had a promising career as a rap artist.
“It seemed like one of those love hate relationships apparently she didn’t want him to go on without her,” a friend of Coleman’s said.
Police say Coleman’s girlfriend Cierra Sutton shot him and dismembered his body with a machete.
“These days of showing up at scenes of domestic violence and nobody going to jail are probably going to be behind us in the very near future,” Acevedo said.
The chief says he’s talked to Harris County D.A. Kim Ogg and she agrees the person who appears to be the aggressor will immediately go to jail, even if the victim protests, until all the facts are known.
“This is an amazing move Chief Acevedo has done in order to show the survivors that we believe them and that we’re here to support them and keep them safe,” said Houston Area Women’s Center’s Manager of Counseling Aly Jacobs.
“For me I was blessed to be able to make it out alive,” Igbani said.
With help from the Houston Area Women’s Center Lovinah Igbani says she has a better life.
If the chief has his way others trying to flee violent relationships will, too.
“On that night no one dies and that should be our priority saving lives,” Acevedo said.