NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Investigations are underway in Franklin County and Clarksville where orders of protection didn’t stop two men from getting their hands on weapons.
Deandre Collier was arrested after he allegedly planned to shoot his ex-girlfriend over the weekend at RiverFest in Clarksville. Police charged him after finding a gun in his car along with drugs.
On Monday, 57-year-old Steven Henley was arrested after he shot and killed his girlfriend’s son. Franklin County deputies say he not only had an order of protection but he had also been arrested for violating it twice.
Britnee Bishop is a victim advocate at the Sexual Assault Center, and she regularly helps victims file for orders of protection. She says it’s a move that sends a pretty strong message.
“The perpetrator, their consequences is jail,” she explained.
Over the last few days, police found this document wasn’t enough to stop Collier and Henley from their crimes.
“The question will come to the perpetrator; do you own any weapons? Do you have any firearms? And of course, they’re supposed to be honest with the court, present what they have and let that be what it is,” Bishop said.
Orders of protection do allow the police to quickly respond and make an arrest in a bad situation. But if you have doubts, Bishop recommends getting a victim’s advocate involved, who can help you with things like safety planning and court matters.
“Even if there is a doubt that an order of protection might be faulty, or not work in this situation for you, I think that it is still important to get someone involved in letting them know what’s happening with you,” Bishop said.
Bishop says her heart breaks in any situation where a court order and jail time aren’t enough to protect a victim.
“I want to make sure everyone is safe and it’s apparent in these situations there are two people here who are hurting.”
Advocates here say something we can all do to help in these situations is to learn the signs of domestic violence. With education, we can get help for victims who might need it, especially when other measures haven’t worked.