Press Release: July 12, 2012 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A lawsuit has been filed against Delaware State Police and several other Delaware agencies and four individual officers for failing to arrest individuals who made proven false police reports, failure to conduct investigations prior to making arrests, and falsely entering the Plaintiff into DELJIS resulting in his false arrest and incarceration in a Delaware State Prison the day after he conducted a demonstration outside Kent County Family Court.
The lawsuit was filed by Gordon Smith, in Superior Court seeking damages for numerous torts and civil rights violations. Had Mr. Smith not been able to prove his innocence, in the face of false reports by his ex-wife he faced a year in prison on each of the false charges.
Despite the fact that in one case he was able to prove that he was miles away when the ex-wife, her sister and her boyfriend told Delaware State Police that he was at her home, the Delaware State Police refused to arrest the individuals that made the false report that resulted in his arrest. In another case he was at Family Court, which is under video surveillance when his ex-wife alleged that he made a call to her in violation of an ex-parte protection order. The police officer that arrested him admitted that he saw Mr. Smith in the court at the time he was alleged to have been making the phone call but refused to review the video tape to confirm that he was not on a phone at that time. Cell phones and other electronic devices are not allowed in Delaware Family Courthouses. In another instance the ex-wife alleged that he called and text messaged numerous times, when he had not and he was charged with harassment by phone with the domestic violence modifier because he was a divorced spouse. The Delaware State Police failed to look at the complainant's phone records which would have shown her statement was another false report. His ex-wife had him falsely arrested twice in one day and three times in that one week period.
According to Mr. Smith the pendulum on domestic violence has swung from thirty years ago when it was ignored as a private matter, where abused women were not protected to the same extent that non related individuals would be if victimized to a point now that men are not given the same due process or equal protection when accused of domestic related crimes in comparison to those accused of any other crimes that are not considered domestic. Smith says “in the instances where I was arrested the police didn't even contact me to see if I could prove that I was innocent, in other instances when my ex-wife made reports to police and they did investigate I was not arrested”. He said that “failure of the Delaware State Police to enforce Delaware law on filing false police reports encouraged his ex-wife to continue to file false police reports” in an effort to have him incarcerated because he had moved on in his personal life and was involved with another woman. Men in Delaware are subject to arrest at any time when they haven't committed any crime.
Smith stated, "You can get up and go to work and not know there is a warrant for your arrest on some made up allegation and be in prison that night for something that you didn't do. No evidence is required, all a woman has to do is say that you, a current or former spouse or domestic partner, did something and the State Police will run out and get a rubber stamp warrant from the JP Court. You have to prove that you're innocent instead of them having anything more concrete than verbal allegations that you committed a crime."
For Mr. Smith this has resulted in five arrests that were nolle prossed but show on background checks preventing him from being employed in his field, despite no convictions and resulting in his being financially crippled. In Delaware, unlike neighboring Pennsylvania, it is not against the law for employers to consider arrest that did not result in conviction to make adverse employment decisions.
Mr. Smith is the co-founder and Executive Director of a family law reform and advocacy organization and the Delaware State Coordinator for an organization that lobbies for changes in Federal and State laws to address the proliferation of false allegations of domestic abuse and for enforcement of laws on filing false police reports.
Smith said that he is looking for other men in Delaware who have been the victim of proven false police reports of domestic violence or violations of PFAs and would consider being part of a class action lawsuit, in Federal District Court. They can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Second Press Release:
Gordon Smith, the Delaware activist and man suing Delaware State Police and other agencies for false arrest has been arrested again on yet another false report to the police by the same individual, his ex-wife, of Dover, DE. She told police that he threatened to kill her. That is untrue and she had no substantiation or witnesses but Dover PD has a policy of mandatory arrest. He has been charged with terroristic threatening. All it takes is an unproven allegation of a crime if it's related to an intimate partner or former intimate partner and made by a woman against a man and they make an arrest. In the past this woman has made eight false reports to the police and up until now anytime the police agency investigated there was no arrest. Five times in the past, no investigation was made by Delaware State Police Troop 3 and once before by the Dover Police and they obtained warrants on the false reports. Twice other police agencies received false reports and investigated and did not make an arrest. Twice Mr. Smith had physical evidence, including video tape of his innocence that proved the reports to police were a lie in violation of 11DE1245 yet the perpetrator, his ex-wife,, was not arrested.
Smith alleges in his suit that he and men in general are denied equal protection and that failing to arrest people who make false reports to the police encourages them to continue to maliciously file reports in the future. The Delaware Department of Justice has a no drop policy and despite exculpatory evidence continued the prosecutions of Mr. Smith up until the day of trial when previous charges were dropped.
"It is a disgrace", says Catherine Gibson, Managing Director of FLAIR: Family Law Advocates Initiating Reform, "that innocent men are routinely thrown under the bus by certain but not all police agencies in Delaware and the Delaware Department of Justice in the name of protecting women from domestic violence". She said that it demeans the true victims of domestic violence and is unconscionable that when there is physical evidence that a police report was knowingly false the women are not arrested.
Mr. Smith has been on WBOC, WDEL and published in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today as well as the Delaware State News, The News Journal and several other regional newspapers. Recently an opinion piece on Pro Se was published in the State News.
Anyone who was the victim of a proven false police report related to dv should contact Mr. Smith email@example.com to discuss a class action lawsuit in Federal Court.
Anyone in Delaware (or elsewhere, frankly) who has a moment to spare is encouraged to contact Delaware's DOJ here: http://attorneygeneral.delaware.gov/office/contact.shtml to express their objection that this woman, who has made 8 proven false accusations for the purpose of abusing legal process to harass another individual, has faced no charges as yet.
And anyone in Delaware who has been the subject of a proven false accusation, please contact Gordon in regard to his class action lawsuit. I met this guy. He's sincere and seems decent, and he certainly doesn't deserve this bullshit.