Black Woman 'Stands Her Ground', Goes To Jail Because It's Alabama
"Stand your ground" is a handy legal accessory for the white man who likes to start fights he can only win by shooting someone in the chest. It's less effective for black women who want to defend themselves from abusive spouses. A woman in Selma, Alabama, is in custody after police allege she shot and killed her estranged husband outside her home on Tuesday.
Selma police officers were dispatched at 8:30 a.m. to the home at 2113 Church Street, said Selma Police Chief Spencer Collier. Once on the scene, they found 44-year-old Carl Omar Dixon unresponsive in the front yard. He was pronounced dead on the scene.
Investigators took Jacqueline Dixon into custody at the scene. Collier said Jacqueline Dixon shot her husband with a small-caliber handgun. She claimed the victim had charged at her in an aggressive manner.
Alabama is one of far too many states with "stand your ground" laws. This means it's justified to use deadly force against anyone (even unarmed people or, as Alabamans call them, "suckers") who you "believe" is an imminent physical threat to yourself. You have no "duty to retreat." You don't even have to be home. The law was revised in 2013 so that you can use deadly force against someone threatening you at work. Earlier this year, the Alabama House of Representatives approved a bill extending "stand your ground" to churches, so you can now freely send fools to hell COD. As Sammy Davis Jr. might've sang, "It's Stand Your Ground All Over the World." So, why is the sister in jail?
Collier and Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson said Jacqueline Dixon did have a protection from abuse order against her husband, however it appears she did not seek enforcement of the order at times during her marriage. Jacqueline Dixon made the request for the protective order in 2016, according to court records, claiming Carl Omar Dixon had punched her in the face and called her curse words. She said he had done it multiple times but always came back.
I hope you haven't forgotten that last month a white man shot and killed a black man in a convenience store parking lot because the victim shoved him (Megyn Kelly kindly pointed out that this constitutes "assault," which means half the kids at my son's pre-school are violent criminals). The police dusted off the shooter and sent him home with a Big Gulp. Now, that was Florida, but Alabama is hardly known for its greater appreciation of black life. How are you gonna arrest a woman for defending herself from a man who is clearly violating the restraining order against him? They actually have the nerve to blame Ms. Dixon for not rigorously documenting every instance Mr. Dixon broke the law? It's not a food diary for Weight Watchers where you sabotage your own weight-loss goals when you conveniently fail to include all those appetizers you shared at office happy hours. Yes, their argument is that since she let him violate the restraining order, she ... well, we don't quite follow their argument, actually.
Here's something I found interesting from a Psychology Today piece on domestic violence and the supposed challenges in enforcing restraining orders:
DV advocates and the police tell victims to report every single TRO violation, including boundary-probing phone calls, texts, e-mails, home or office drivebys, and face-to-face encounters with the suspect. Some victims are dutiful about this; some are not. If the victim is not vigilant, the police may not be either, especially when they find out the suspect conned, cajoled, or coerced the victim into meeting for coffee and she went. Every violation should demand a police response, a police report, and if possible, a police arrest.
This seems like it just forces the victim into a psychological prison where she has to obsess over her asshole former partner. Doesn't she already have a job? Why isn't the onus on the abusers to document in descriptive detail their whereabouts and actively demonstrate to authorities that they aren't violating the order? I don't recall George Zimmerman or Michael Drejka having to fill out all this paperwork. They had numerous possible exit ramps to avoid winding up in what they claimed were "life-threatening" situations, but their enablers argued that all that mattered was the threat they felt. The police who arrested Ms. Dixon can't seriously claim she didn't fear for her life, especially since she filed for an "I'm in fear for my life" protection order.
Jackson said the couple had domestic issues in the past. He said Tuesday's argument possibly started after Carl Omar Dixon found a condom at his wife's house that did not belong to him and he thought she was cheating.
How is this relevant? This isn't Clue: "Miss Scarlet in the library with the condom on Mr. Body's body." You also can't "cheat" on someone you've filed a restraining order against. Once that happens, the person who issues the order is usually free to date. Why is the district attorney enabling Mr. Dixon's delusions?
Investigators presented their findings to the District Attorney's Office and a murder-domestic violence warrant was issued for Jacqueline Dixon. Selma police officers booked her into the Dallas County Jail with bond set at $100,000.
Are you kidding me? $100,000 is "rot-your-ass-in-jail" money. Did they expect her to post bond with some of the gold bars she keeps in her safe?
Collier said Carl Omar Dixon's death marks the seventh homicide in Selma this years. "Domestic violence is a crime that knows no racial, geographic or socioeconomic boundary,'' the chief said. "It affects all segments of our society and every situation is needless and preventable."
Mr. Dixon is not the victim here. You have the actual victim locked up waiting for her prison-issued harmonica.
"It is pretty clear that the judicial system worked in this situation because the protection from abuse order was in place. I am not sure which judge handled the matter, but I applaud him for doing his job,'' Collier said. "However, the order is simply a piece of paper if the complainant does not seek its enforcement. Regardless, it is a sad case and Selma PD joins the community in praying for both families."
Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).