BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Just days after observing a vigil for domestic violence victims, the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office responded to a disturbing scene.
According to the Sheriff's Office, the deputy shot and killed a man later identified as Anthony McKinney. He was reportedly stabbing a woman. At last check, the woman is currently in critical condition at the hospital.
Investigators say McKinney was arrested on September 22 for domestic abuse battery and aggravated assault. The stabbing happened on September 26, one day after he bonded out of jail.
The case is especially disturbing for the Executive Director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence Beth Meeks.
"We clearly have had little to no progress on this issue over the course of the last 20 years," said Meeks.
According to Meeks, while domestic violence homicides are down nationwide, Louisiana has not seen the same consistent decline. She adds there are strong efforts in terms of awareness, but more needs to be done system wide, especially when it comes to offenders.
"Let's start to sort out who really needs to be monitored and who can probably go home on a lower bond with a protection order and manage their own behavior," said Meeks.
Meeks admits the problem is complex and requires a complex solution. She says there are more tools that can be used by everyone involved in handling domestic abuse cases. For example, officers can use risk assessments to determine if an offender has potential to act out again. Judges can then use that assessment to help determine bond or special provisions for monitoring. According to Meeks, tools like these have helped reduce the number of domestic violence homicides in other areas.
Baton Rouge began a domestic violence court in January using some of those techniques, and they have reported success. Meeks hopes everyone from law enforcement to judges will come together to do even more.
There are also many resources available to victims of domestic violence, to help them get out of an abusive situation and navigate challenges after.
For help, contact one of these organizations:
Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence, www.lcadv.org, 1 (888) 411-1333
Iris Domestic Violence Center, www.stopdv.org, (225) 389-3001 or 1 (800) 541-9706
Life Family Outreach, (225) 772-2441
STAR Center, www.brstar.org, (225) 383-RAPE