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BPD Chief, SVU release domestic violence PSAs

Over the last seven days, the community has been affected by two high-profile, fatal domestic violence cases.

On Saturday, Nov. 7, the Birmingham Police Department officers from the West Precinct received an assault call at 3024 17th Street Ensley at approximately 9:28 p.m. Upon arrival, officers located 57-year-old Ricky Ray Carlisle of Hoover, Alabama unresponsive in the living room and suffering from a stab wound. Birmingham Fire and Rescue and the Jefferson County Coroner pronounced Carlisle deceased at the scene. The preliminary investigation suggests the incident was domestic in nature and that the victim was involved in a verbal altercation. One suspect is currently in custody.

On Tuesday, Nov. 10, BPD officers of the North Precinct responded to 1024 12th Street North just after 11 a.m. to respond to a call of four people shot. Upon arrival, officers discovered 40-year-old Derick Williams deceased outside of the apartment complex. Officers entered the apartment and discovered 65-year-old Loretta Frazier deceased. A male and a female were discovered suffering from gunshot wounds and were transported to UAB Hospital. The preliminary investigation suggests the shooting was domestic in nature.

In a video statement, Chief Patrick D. Smith stated that BPD has seen a steady flow of domestic violence incidents amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Domestic violence comes in many forms and anyone can be affected,” Chief Smith said. “it is important that we recognize the warning signs of abuse and seek help.”

Chief Smith also noted that crime, overall, in the city is down currently. Total property crimes are down 28.2 percent and total violent crime is down 20.5 percent; however, homicide is up 8.6 percent and many of the homicides are domestic related.

“This is where we need your help as a community,” Chief Smith said. “If you are involved in a seemingly abusive relationship, help us out and allow us to help you. Contact the 24-hour domestic violence hotline at (800) 650-6522 or 911. For more information pertaining to domestic abuse, contact our Special Victims Unit at (205) 297-8413.”

In a video interview, Detective Erin Valentine with BPD’s Special Victims Unit participated in the following Q&A session with Officer Truman Fitzgerald of the Media Relations Unit.

TRUMAN: Do most domestic violence cases start with physical issues or are there other warning signs people should look for?

VALENTINE: I would say it could be a combination of either or. In some instances, a domestic violence or physically violent relationship may not be brought to the foreftont untilt he person is admitted to the hospital. In other instances, you may notice a person with unexplained injuries, someone very close to you, their mood or personality may change or they may isolate themselves.

TRUMAN: What resources are available to help if a victim feels they’re not ready to contact the police?

VALENTINE: An organization that is currently working in our community is called One Place [Metro Alabama Family Justice Center]. It’s a one stop shop. If a person is not ready to talk to a law enforcement officer, they can come here and talk with an advocate, they can speak with a counselor, and we also have a worker here from the YWCA  to also offer assistance and we also offer translation services for people who may not speak English.

TRUMAN: What do you want the community to know about domestic violence cases?

VALENTINE: That it affects everyone, and that the cases are dangerous and they’re serious. And it does not matter a person’s race, a person’s social status, or even a person’s gender, it can happen to anyone.

TRUMAN: What would you like to say to that person suffering from domestic violence in silence?

VALENTINE: That there is help and that you are not alone.

To contact One Place, call (205) 453-7261.