Two days ago 55 year old Dien Kien Huynh died of injuries sustained when a group of three African American youths beat and robbed him as he was returning home from work.
This, according to the Tacoma News Tribune is the eleventh homicide of the year for the city of Tacoma. The fact that two of those homicides were not even reported in the media is funny to me but not really all that surprising. After working in police records it becomes something of a mystery how the media decides what they want to put in the paper and what they don’t. The things that go unreported are frequently the worst things.
I used to type up the Child Protective Services reports. There were usually enough of them that I’d spend one day a month doing just those. That works out to something like one or two a day really. But you won’t read anywhere about the fifteen year old girl who was taken from her father’s lakeside cabin because he was whoring her out to neighbors to pay his mortgage. Or the three year old they found sleeping on a ‘pillow’ that was actually a large bag of cocaine. These aren’t things I made up. Those are two reports I actually wrote up.
On the days when I wrote up the CPS reports I would come home late and drunk. Sometimes I wouldn’t work the next day. It’s the one part of the job I don’t miss even a little. When I think about how much typing up those reports bothered me, I try not to think about how much it must bother the cops who have to deal with that stuff.
People think shows like CSI are hard hitting or dark. They aren’t. And really I’m glad they aren’t.
So I tried to take my vacation early. Things have been fairly quiet crime-wise lately. At least in Tacoma’s city limits. But Monday morning around 2:00am that changed in the 5600 block of South Junett when the longtime boyfriend of Desaundra Dixon shot her once in the chest, killing her. Desaundra was a mother of five, ages 4 to 19. One of her sons called 9-1-1. Her boyfriend waited for the cops and initially was willing to talk to them. Then he asked for a lawyer.
There was no history of domestic violence between the couple. The motive was unclear, but I figure it’s safe to say she did something that upset the guy. The problem with domestic violence is that it is both largely unreported and largely exaggerated. In Washington State, domestic violence laws require responding officers to arrest somebody even if no crime was committed. I suppose the idea here is to get potentially dangerous people away from each other, but it doesn’t really work. A guy arrested on a domestic violence charge can be out in a matter of hours and if you think he was upset with the woman before, imagine how he feels after being locked up for a few hours. Even the completely innocent aren’t happy after spending the evening locked in a cage.
Then there are restraining orders. These are supposed to protect people, but really making it illegal to contact someone isn’t going to save anyone. Last time I checked it was illegal to murder people too, but it still happens.
And regardless of what sort of precautions society attempts to take to prevent domestic violence, it’s still going to happen. Desaundra Dixon is the latest but far from the last victim of domestic violence. The only real solution is to choose who you live with carefully.
One final note, I’m leaving town this Friday and will be gone for a week. Could you people of Tacoma do me a personal favor and wait to kill people until I get back? Thanks.-Jack