Navajo police not responding to domestic violence calls

Here at the Navajo Human Rights Commission public hearing on Navajo gender violence and Violence against Navajo women and LGBTQs at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Ariz. The hearing is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

RADMILLA CODY, FORMER MISS NAVAJO NATION, GRAMMY NOMINATED ARTIST
As survivor of domestic violence, I work in the area of domestic violence, including on teen violence. And the stories that have been shared with me are heartbreaking. I wonder what the schools are doing to address teen violence. One incident I encountered as I traveled from school where made domestic violence presentation and we were on back road when we saw vehicle and saw perpetrator kicking and dragging woman. We parked behind vehicle and the perpetrator threw woman into vehicle. We called the police and said we would follow vehicle until an officer arrives all the way to Shiprock. I kept calling every ten minutes and when we arrived in Shiprock we saw a police car parked on the side of the road. This whole desensitized attitude of people is violence and we internalizing. At what point do we make perpetrators accountable because domestic violence is a crime. There are so many aspects of empowering people but if you have people that are suppose to protect you not doing their jobs then what…And that is why victims return to perpetrator. I just hope that somehow we can create a safe environment and even nation for our people. And the violence on our homeland is connected to genocidial violence of our people.

NHR COMMISSIONER DR. JENNIFER DENETDALE
I thank Radmilla and I am a fan. And she has talked about language as violence, such as using the slang Navajo word, zinny which is akind to nigger. And Ms. Cody used the proper Navajo word for Black person.

NHR COMMISSION FRANK BRADLEY, FORMER NAVAJO POLICE OFFICER
I’ve responded to domestic violence cases and I’m retired for three years. I’m a civilian now and looking from outside in, I agree with Ms Cody and Dr. Denetdale regarding lack of response to these truly violent and unlawful acts. All the principals and technique of a police officer is to stop the unlawful action and then start report which goes to court. It seems not happening anymore. I was a police officer for 24 years. It is sad. I professionally advise individuals to not give up on reporting domestic violence. It seems like the dispatcher decides not to send and when to send so insist: I demand, I demand to speak to officer in charge, commander, chief of police, Division of Public Safety director. When letter arrives, it is taken care of. Those get acted upon. But if not letter then nothing happens. Doesn’t need to be in writing but if in writing, it carries more writing. Saddens and angers to hear that a call to the police was ignored. Thank you.

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