The City of Topeka Has Decriminalized Domestic Abuse

The Kansas city, citing budget cuts, passed responsibility to the District Attorney

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Solidifying its place among other dumb budget cuts, the city council of Topeka, Kan., on Tuesday voted to repeal its law making domestic violence a crime. As The New York Times reported, the move is meant to "force District Attorney Chad Taylor to prosecute the cases because they would remain a crime under state law, a conclusion with which he grudgingly agreed." Both the District Attorney and the city have cited budget cuts as the reason for passing the responsibility of protecting victims of abuse to elsewhere. And now that the rest of the nation is watching, the stand off is even more puzzling. "I absolutely do not understand it," Rita Smith, executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said after the vote to The Kansas City Star. "It's really outrageous that they're playing with family safety to see who blinks first."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.