Roy S. Johnson: Colorado arrest, Jerry Jeudy’s incarceration, now released on bail, dilutes the loathsome depths of domestic violence

This is an opinion column.

I hate domestic violence.

I have a daughter. The thought of a man, of anyone, putting his hands on her … there are no words. (Or none appropriate to share in this space)

The thought of someone getting their hands on any of the other women I know: ex, grandchildren, cousins, girlfriends, cousins, cousins’ daughters and fellow friends … speechless.

In my life, thankfully, domestic violence has been pulled from the shadows where it has lurked for generations and labeled it for what it is: unacceptable. Illegal. Immoral.

I raised my son so that he never got his hands on a woman, for no reason, it doesn’t matter. And my daughter to never tolerate a hand. For whatever reason. It does not matter.

Domestic violence is unacceptable, illegal and immoral. Is increasing.

“We continue to see an increase in domestic violence crimes across the county, particularly homicides related to domestic violence,” says Allison Dearing, executive director of One Place Metro Family Justice Center in Birmingham. Over half of all known murder perpetrators in Jefferson County have a history of domestic violence allegations against them (58% in 2019, 53% in 2020).

“We must take domestic violence crimes seriously.”

Its evolution was not perfect, not fast enough.

Entertainment has too often diluted and reduced domestic violence. The slaps in the face have been normalized on reality TV. And in courtrooms, judges too often took victims back to homes with violent offenders, didn’t listen to them, until it was too late. Sometimes tragically so.

Domestic violence in sports has been quietly tolerated for generations. He was shielded in the showers. Left to languish in the locker room. Finally, as domestic violence has been widely recognized as unacceptable, illegal and immoral, sport has no longer been able to hide it. Or hide from it.

That’s why Thursday afternoon we gasped on news of the arrest of popular Denver Broncos (and former Alabama) receiver Jerry Jeudy at his Arapahoe County home on second-degree criminal tampering charges. with a domestic violence enhancer.

I had no idea what that last sentence meant. I saw Domestic violence and my mind, as perhaps yours too, went straight to unacceptable, illegal and immoral.

To find out more about Jerry Jeudy’s arrest, accuse:

Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy has been arrested in Colorado

The sheriff tries to “clear up a couple of issues” upon arrest

Jeudy gets out of prison, but the case continues

The reaction was similarly pervasive that Arapahoe County Sheriff Tyler S. Brown took the unusual step Thursday night of sharing details of the meeting between Jeudy and their one-month-old son’s mother that led Jeudy to be held overnight without bonding. “To clear up a couple of issues,” Brown said.

Significant problems, it turned out.

“There was no physical contact” between them, Brown said. “He was all about ownership. There was no damage to the property. All that happened was that there was an allegation that the property had been withheld. “

The property, the sheriff noted, was a wallet belonging to the woman, a car seat for children, and medical information relating to the child. (A police report obtained from a Denver TV station said infant formula was also involved.) He called the police about what Brown called a “keeping the peace” situation because he was trying to leave and his wallet was locked. in a car. “She hasn’t been able to access it,” Brown said.

You wonder if the deputies who responded could have kept the peace better simply by accessing the wallet and other items and allowing the woman to leave.

You wonder if they could have done it if the man hadn’t been Jeudy. If he hadn’t been a professional athlete. He wasn’t a dreadlock … I’ll leave him there.

Instead they arrested him. “There was an allegation that the property had been held and the officers determined that there was a reasonably likely cause for an arrest,” Brown said.

In Colorado, domestic violence itself is not a crime. Yet it can be applied as an “enhancer” (similar to a “hate crime”) that elevates any alleged crime.

Why was it applied here? Because Jeudy and the girl gave birth to a baby.

State domestic violence statutes include property crimes “when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation or revenge directed against a person with whom the actor has been involved in an intimate relationship,” Brown said.

Colorado defines an “intimate relationship” as that “between a spouse, former spouse, past or present unmarried couple, or a person with whom the parent or parents have a common child, regardless of whether that person was married or has lived together at any time. “

So, just because Jeudy and the woman have a child, their contactless encounter was considered domestic violence.

Second-degree criminal tampering, in this case denying access to your wallet and other items, is a “misdemeanor,” Brown said. (It’s also broad: if the person intends to create an “inconvenience or nuisance” such as, the sheriff noted, hiding the car keys, it’s a crime.)

The domestic violence enhancer requested that Jeudy be held overnight without bond until he appeared before a judge.

Due to the booster, we were out of breath.

Due to the enhancer, a young man was quickly tainted with an accusation that we all loathe. And the young parents found themselves where neither of them wanted to be.

By arresting, detaining Jeudy and augmenting him with domestic violence, Arapahoe County reduced the severity of domestic violence. He didn’t have to go down like that.

It shouldn’t have gone down like this.

At the Denver court hearing on Friday morning, the woman asked Judge Chantal Contiguglia to drop the charges, saying she never felt threatened, never intended to have Jeudy arrested and did not want an order to be imposed. of no contact. A mandatory protection order was issued, and Jeudy was released with a $ 1,500 personal recognition bond.

He will have to go back to court on May 31st.

Based on what we now know about the meeting in Arapahoe County – and none of us know everything that happened – and its mountainous reverberations, it all seems so unfortunate.

So diluting and demeaning to violence that it haunts too many domestic relationships every day.

Like this over enhanced.

Other columns by Roy S. Johnson

The lacrosse ladies of Deleware State are our new freedom bikers

Look what we did: Alabama doctor “very tempted” to break the trans medical ban law

Selma’s Brown Chapel is the nation’s most threatened historic structure, needs $ 5 million to restore

Are there reasonable and empathetic Republicans out there? It’s time to get up

After my challenge, the reasonable Republicans of Alabama stood up

NFL Squash opponents, Colin Kaepernick, play in the USFL

Remembering Birmingham Holocaust survivor as Alabama remembers

Roy S. Johnson is a 2021 Pulitzer Prize finalist for commentary and winner of the 2021 Edward R. Morrow Award for podcasts: “Unjustifiable,” co-hosted with John Archibald. His column appears on The Birmingham News and AL.com, as well as the Huntsville Times, the Mobile Press-Register. Reach him at rjohnson@al.comfollow it to twitter.com/roysjor on Instagram @roysj.

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