Victim's family wants tougher domestic violence law
Cat Andersen/Eyewitness News
Indianapolis - A family is hoping to toughen up Indiana law regarding domestic violence after their daughter's murder.
Sandra Radford's daughter, 29-year-old Watasha Kenyata Clark, was shot to death on June 21st. Clark's boyfriend, 29-year-old Chris Gordon, was charged with her murder. Her parents say there was a history of abuse.
"He had my daughter's hair, her ponytail in one hand and a pistol in the other hand and was dragging her down the alley. He had struck her with the pistol and broke her nose. He left the scene. Police arrived and said well he's not on the scene there is nothing we can do. She doesn't want to press any charges. She was scared of him," said Radford.
"There were times when he's run her off the road and my son was in the car with her," said Clark's father, Ronald Radford.
The Radfords are petitioning the state of Indiana to change its law to better protect victims of domestic violence.
"We know the victims are scared, brainwashed. Family members and friends that see this abuse. We need to be able to press charges without the consent of the victim," said Ann Delaney, Julian Center executive director.
However, Delaney says creating a new law won't solve the problem. She says the policy the Radfords are looking for is already in place and that charges can be pressed without the victim's consent or testimony. But Delaney says without that testimony it's hard to build a case.
"Because even if you get to a jury with that, the jury looks at it and says, well, she didn't care about prosecuting him so why should we care about locking him up?" Delaney said.
Police records show Clark had a restraining order against Gordon. Gordon has a lengthy arrest record, and a conviction in 2001 for shooting one of Clark's family members in the head.
"If all of this information was available to the road officers, his prior conviction, this testimony from the family member about pointing the gun at them and all of that, then the officer should have taken action," said Delaney.
After responding to multiple domestic disturbances involving the same victim over the course of ten years, the last police report on record with Clark's name now reads homicide.
"I can't save my daughter now. My daughter is gone. But I do want to be able to save other parents from losing a child," said Sandra Radford.
Call 317-327-1211 to report domestic violence to Indianapolis Metro police.
Shattering the Silence - Learn how you can get help for yourself or someone else who is facing a domestic violence situation.