Topeka Removes Ban on Domestic Battery

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/kishimoto/2528841352/sizes/z/in/photostream/">chic.geek</a>/Flickr

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.


Topeka City Council voted on Tuesday night to drop a ban on domestic violence within the city, in a bass-ackward attempt to force county law enforcement to deal with those cases. As I blogged last week, the city and the district attorney are in a spat about who should pay to prosecute those cases, and the result has left victims of domestic violence in the lurch.

The Topeka Capitol-Journal reports that the council voted 7 to 3 to repeal an ordinance banning domestic battery. Supporters argue that the move will force Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor to resume prosecuting those cases, which he stopped doing last month in protest of budget cuts:

The vote came after [Interim city manager Dan] Stanley recommended the governing body approve the repeal to make it clear that only the district attorney’s office is legally empowered to prosecute domestic batteries committed in Topeka and can’t “dump” that responsibility on the city.

Stanley said the repeal would “remove all ambiguity from this question” while giving the city leverage as it negotiates with the county commission and district attorney’s office to seek to ensure misdemeanor domestic batteries committed in Topeka are prosecuted in district court.

The city’s assistant attorney says domestic violence is still a crime, since there’s a state law banning it. But the move essentially ensures that no one is in charge of enforcing that law in the state capital. And, let me remind you again, that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Looks like they really know how to celebrate it in Kansas.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate