Things That Matter

The Murder of a Teen Mom By Her Boyfriend is Raising a Discussion Around the Prevalence of Femicide in Abusive Relationships

On Thursday, 27-year-old Junior Fayiah Carlos was sentenced to life in prison over the violent murder of his 19-year-old girlfriend, Christine D’Cruz. According to reports, Carlos murdered D’Cruz on December 30, 2017 in her apartment in Mandurah, Perth, Australia. Carlos killed D’cruz in a fit of rage after they had been arguing about the paternity of their child, who was just weeks old. Carlos claimed that he killed D’Cruz in self-defense after she had gotten ahold of a kitchen knife and threatened him. However, prosecutors noted that he was “delusional” due to the dangerous cocktail of drugs and alcohol he was on at the time. 

According to reports, Carlos was high on marijuana, methamphetamines, and sleeping pills when he stabbed her 35 times, partially decapitating her. 

After he killed D’Cruz, Carlos apparently covered her with a blanket, left her in the bathroom, and fell asleep. 15 hours later, he called a friend and allegedly admitted: “she’s dead”. According to authorities, Carlos and D’Cruz had had a turbulent relationship during the two years they were together. Two weeks before D’Cruz was murdered, she had even filed a restraining order against Carlos, but continued to see him. D’Cruz’s family claims that D’Cruz had long been abusing her, citing unexplained bruises and other injuries she suffered before his death. According to records, Carlos had also been previously convicted for attacking a former partner of his. 

The death of 19-year-old Christine D’Cruz is making international headlines because it shines a spotlight on the fatal violence that women universally experience at the hands of men. 

Femicide–what the Oxford dictionary defines as “the killing of a woman or girl, in particular by a man and on account of her gender”–has been at the top of people’s minds in recent days. On November 3rd, women took to the streets of Mexico to march in honor of Dia de Muertas–The Day of Dead Women. The march was a tribute to the thousands of women who have died due to domestic violence in Mexico–nine every day. The activists staged the march to be right after Mexico’s famous Dia de Muertos in order to bring awareness to the public health crisis that plagues Mexico and, indeed, countries across the world.

According to the World Health Organization, femicide is usually “committed by partners or ex-partners, and involves ongoing abuse in the home, threats or intimidation, sexual violence or situations where women have less power or fewer resources than their partner”. The same study revealed that while only 5% of all murders of men are committed by an intimate partner, 35% of all murders of women globally are reported to be committed by an intimate partner. 

It’s also notable that although D’Cruz had seemingly taken steps towards ending the relationship (i.e. taking out a restraining order against Carlos), she still kept seeing him in private.

 As domestic violence activist Beverly Gooden revealed before in her viral Twitter hashtag campaign #WhyIStayed, there are a myriad of reasons why women stay in abusive relationships. “It’s not easy to leave when you remember how it used to be, or when they romance you during the good times,” Gordon stated on her website. “Or when they promise it is the last time. Because you believe in love and you believe in them”. 

Emotional reasons aren’t the only reasons women stay in abusive relationships. They also do out of fear for their lives. According to the 2018 Femicide Census, “55% of the women killed by their ex-partner or ex-spouse in 2017 were killed within the first month of separation and 87% in the first year”. For women, sometimes staying seems like the safer option. 

Since Carlos’s sentencing, D’Cruz’s family is now teaming up with domestic violence groups to seek an inquest into the way the authorities handled the murder of their daughter.

Although Carlos is headed to jail, the family is still suffering from what they feel was a mishandling of their daughter’s murder case.  Although Carlos was sentenced to life in prison, he will be eligible for parole in just 19 years. Although we can’t read the minds of the parents of Christine D’Cruz, we can’t help but wonder if they consider the possibility of such a brief sentence as justice for the lost life of their daughter. 

According to the family’s impact statements at the time of the trial, D’Cruz’s family is devastated and plagued by grief at the death of their beloved daughter. They expressed sorrow that their granddaughter would now grow up without a mother. They revealed that D’Cruz had dreams of working in childcare. The judge in the case revealed that D’Cruz’s father still “looked around for his daughter even though he knew she was dead”.

A Pregnant Woman With Parking Violations Was Arrested And Put In Jail During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Fierce

A Pregnant Woman With Parking Violations Was Arrested And Put In Jail During The Coronavirus Pandemic

My job in Corrections / Pinterest

Diamond Davis is a Montgomery, AL-based woman who is pregnant and currently dealing with criminal charges.

On April 19, the pregnant mother-to-be was arrested and detained overnight in a prison currently battling coronavirus cases. Davis had been brought to the prison after police officers had arrested her for failing to show up for court hearings about her traffic-related violations. There were other similar charges that led to her arrest and jail detainment which a judge dismissed her from, via teleconference, after assigning her a new court date which will open up a new discussion on how she will repay the fines she owes.

While traffic-related violations are important to pay attention to, Davis’s arrest and time in prison is raising concerns among advocates calling for a chance in the climb in numbers of pregnant women “who have been put at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19 because of non-violent charges by a prison system being accused of not doing enough to protect those it incarcerates,” according to Refinery29.

In a recent interview with the New York Times, Davis’ case was highlighted as part of a vicious cycle targeting the disadvantaged.

According to The New York Times, Davis’ car was pulled over when police noticed that her temporary license plates had expired. After the officers stopped her they found that the 27-year-old mother-to-be was driving without a license and without car insurance. They also discovered that she had overdue court fines.

David was taken to Montgomery City Jail and told NYT that her request for a mask and gloves had been denied. She also claims that there was no hot water available for her to wash her hands.

What’s worse, one of the two women she had been made to share a cell with was coughing.

Soon after Davis’s release from the Montgomery City Jail, police reported five positive coronavirus cases.

While the cases were reported amongst the jail’s federal incarcerated community, which is reportedly kept in a separate area from people incarcerated by the city– like Davis– five cases were also reported among the jail’s nurses and correctional officers. According to NYT, “The number of positive cases has since risen to 21, Michael Briddell, the director of public information for Montgomery, said Wednesday.”

Michael Briddell, the director of public information for Montgomery, explained in an interview with NYT that early on in the pandemic, “the city took steps to release nearly all nonviolent offenders, adding that the jail held 93 detainees in the last week of April, compared with 115 detainees during the same period a year ago.” According to Briddel “only the most extreme nonviolent cases are being held,” and Davis fell under this category because she had 16 outstanding warrants.

Meanwhile, Claudia Wilner, who is the director of litigation for the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, which fights for economic justice for low-income people, “overpolicing of black communities had led to the constant issuing of tickets for traffic violations.” The underlying implication? Injustices in our criminal system are bringing people into places where they could potentially face death. Is it worth it?

A 5-Year-Old Latino Boy Stole His Parents Car And Told The Police Who Pulled Him Over He Was Buying A Lamborghini

Things That Matter

A 5-Year-Old Latino Boy Stole His Parents Car And Told The Police Who Pulled Him Over He Was Buying A Lamborghini

Utah Highway Patrol / Twitter

Talk about being resourceful.

In Utah, a 5-year-old boy with a whopping $3 in his pocket took a joy ride in his parents’ car with plans to drive to California. When police pulled him over, he told officers that he wanted to buy a Lamborghini. This was, apparently, after his mother refused to take him to buy the luxury car when he asked her to buy him one.

According to reports, a trooper saw the SUV (driven by the boy) weaving on Interstate 15 at 30 mph.

In the dash-camera footage of the encounter, Trooper Rick Morgan addressed the kid saying “How old are you? You’re 5 years old?… Wow … Where did you learn to drive a car?”

Speaking to KSL-TV, Morgan said that when he pulled the kid over, he had to help him get the SUV into park mode. “He was sitting on the front edge of the seat so that he could reach the brake pedal to keep the car stopped while I was standing there,” Morgan explained.

After being pulled over, the child (identified as Adrian Zamarripa) said that all he wanted to do was drive to California to buy a Lamborghini for himself. Remember that part about the $3 in his pocket?

Right.

According to Morgan, no one was hurt by Zamarripa.

Zamarripa wasn’t able to buy the car, which at a new rate is worth $200,000 but he has been able to drive around the block in them since.

View this post on Instagram

G63 Available Now.. DM for price #wiresonly

A post shared by RD (@wiresonly) on

Lamborghini owner Jeremy Neves heard Zamarripa’s story and decided to take him out on a little spin of his own. When news of Neves offer went viral, it wasn’t long before a celebrity luxury car dealer offered to fly him out to California.

According to a report by TMZ, RD Whittington, who is the owner of the brand Wires Only, flew Zamarripa and his family to Los Angels. While at the dealership he was able to sit in Lamborghini, a Ferrari, and a Hummer. The dealership also organized it so that Zamarripa was able to FaceTime with Shaq and Lil Pump and had the chance to meet Jamie Foxx in person.

In response to criticism that their kind gestures might only cause other kids to seek out similar rewards by copying Zamarripa’s behavior, Neves explained “I’m absolutely inspired by the principles that he displayed of success ― knowing what he wants, going after it… Absolutely, I’m not encouraging kids to go out and take their parents’ car, and do anything else that’s illegal. I’m not advocating that at all.”

Of course, Zamarripa, has received quite a bit of positive attention for his actions, this story is not without its consequences. According to CNN, the boy’s parents are punishing him for stealing their car. Fortunately for them, the Weber County District Attorney won’t be pushing to charge his parents with neglect charges.