Police urged to aid abused women

’09 slaying brings calls for change

By Everton Bailey Jr.
Associated Press / September 29, 2010

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HARTFORD — Connecticut police could have done more to prevent the killing of a woman slain last year, allegedly by her volatile former boyfriend, the victim’s parents and a state advocate say.

Michelle Cruz, the state victim advocate, released a report yesterday with recommendations on how the state could better protect victims of domestic violence after James Carter II, 28, of Bloomfield was charged with fatally stabbing his former girlfriend, Tiana Notice, outside her Plainville home on Valentine’s Day last year.

Carter pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges and awaits trial.

Notice’s parents said police missed several opportunities to intervene and ignored their daughter’s requests for protection after Carter repeatedly violated a restraining order, they say.

“She reached out for help, and the doors were closed on her multiple times,’’ said Kathy Lewis, Notice’s mother. “As a mother, I have to live with that. Knowing how close and totally different the outcome could have been if people had just done one little thing.’’

The report, which mentions Notice’s dealings with Waterbury and Plainville police, suggests new policies for swifter and stricter policies on violations of protection orders.

Among the recommendations are that all police departments in the state implement mandatory uniform policies on enforcing restraining orders and that a committee be established to evaluate these procedures.

The report also suggests more involvement of family court judges and state attorneys in domestic violence cases.

According to the report and Notice’s parents, the 25-year-old sought a restraining order on Carter soon after their relationship ended.

The report said officers in Plainville and Waterbury were dismissive and slow to react to Notice’s reports of harassment even after Carter allegedly slashed her tires and sent her threatening texts and phone calls.

Plainville police did not have an immediate comment yesterday.

A message left with a Waterbury police spokesman was not immediately returned.

Lewis said that before her daughter’s death she called police departments to follow up on their investigations.

“I was told: ‘Nothing is going to happen to your daughter over the weekend. Come back on Tuesday,’ ’’ she said.

“Well, guess what, Tuesday came, and my daughter wasn’t here.’’

Alvin Notice said he has helped begin a memorial foundation in his daughter’s name. He said the foundation has donated security cameras to victims of domestic violence so they can provide proof of abuse to law enforcement.

“If we don’t talk about domestic violence, there’s no way we’re going to stop this problem,’’ he said.

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