A woman who tried to seek protection from the cops because she truly believed her life was being threatened by a man has fewer rights than her violent husband’s firearms.
A victim of domestic abuse tried to take her estranged husband’s firearms away from his residence by taking it to the nearest police station, but she was arrested and charged with armed burglary, reports Huffington Post. Courtney Irby said she was arrested even though she tried to tell the cops she brought the guns to them because she feared for her life. On June 14, Courtney and Joseph were in court for their divorce hearing. The couple has a child together.
When Courtney Irby brought her estranged husband's guns to police after he was arrested for domestic violence, she was arrested. He was released the day after his arrest, but she spent five nights and six days behind bars.— The Marshall Project (@MarshallProj) June 21, 2019
More at @huffpost: https://t.co/ORxF0ehOC1
The arrest affidavit stated that Joseph began to follow Courtney as she was leaving the courthouse and began ramming his car into the back of her vehicle — resulting in his wife being driven off the road. The affidavit also stated that Courtney called the police while “uncontrollably crying and advised that she was in fear for her life.” Previously, Courtney had tried to seek multiple restraining orders from her husband.
.@PolkCoSheriff: Why didn’t you file a risk protection order in this case to remove a domestic abuser’s guns instead of charging a domestic abuse victim with armed burglary for turning in the guns of someone posing a danger to her and their child? #flapolhttps://t.co/ij4WDzazey— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) June 21, 2019
Soon after the call, police arrested Joseph and charged him with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and she immediately applied for a temporary injunction for protection. The day after the call, Courtney was said to have testified at her husband’s hearing through a phone call. The presiding judge granted Joseph “pretrial release” with the condition that he not own, possess, or carry firearms.
Courtney then went to her ex-husband's residence and found his assault rifle and handgun and took them to the Lakeland Police Department. Court documents showed that police officer on duty was informed about her husband's arrest the previous day and that she had handed in the firearms herself because she did not believe he would do it himself. The officer was said to have questioned Courtney about taking her husband’s firearms without his permission, and she admitted she did.
White men in America— Itsnatiboi 🎲 (@marquesharveyNB) June 22, 2019
Then, the officer told her that this meant she was confessing to a crime, and soon enough, she was arrested and charged with armed burglary of a dwelling and grand theft of a firearm. The worst part of it all is that Joseph was released the day after he rammed his car into Courtney's, while Courtney, a victim of domestic violence, was forced to spend five nights and six days behind bars before she was granted bail.
She’s probably safer in jail, now.— Andrea Jo #PWDP (@ABorgmom) June 22, 2019
A woman who tried to seek protection from the cops because she truly believed to be in danger from a man has fewer rights than her violent husband’s firearms. She also had to spend close to a week in jail for trying to protect herself and her child from a man who's proven to be violent on several occasions. Her lawyer, Lawrence Shearer, says his client’s actions don’t technically count as theft under Florida law and that she shouldn’t have been arrested and forced to spend multiple days behind bars.
This is wrong on so many levels. Have these police have no understanding of the real dangers of domestic violence and gun violence.— WVmtnman (@vmtnman) June 22, 2019
“Theft is to deprive someone of the right or benefit of the property,” he tells HuffPost. “She didn’t do either one of those. She was taking them to the police department for safekeeping. I have faith in our state attorney’s office that they will do the right thing.” Honestly, there was nothing wrong with Courtney's instincts. When abusers are armed, their victims are more likely to be killed, according to the National Institute of Health. In Florida alone, it’s estimated there are 200 domestic violence deaths annually.