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Officer Accused of Assault is On Desk Duty

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RALEIGH — A Raleigh police officer is off the streetafter being arrested for assaulting his girlfriend. Police ChiefMitch Brown says Officer Clarence Stanley is on administrative dutypending the outcome of an internal investigation.

This is not a situation any police department wants to find itselfin, but it's especially bad when the department is one that has justcreated a high profile Family Violence Unit. Raleigh Police say they willinvestigate the case thoroughly, but a lot of people are wonderinghow an officer sworn to protect can be accused of harming someone.

Stanley is a member of Raleigh's elite Special Enforcement Unit.He's accused of assaulting Julie Morhidge at their west Raleigh apartmentby grabbing her neck, pushing her and twisting her arm.

The department's new family violence unit is investigating the case.Raleigh Police Sgt. J.K. Harrison says the department will handle thisinvestigation as it would any other.

Since the unit was formed, Harrison says officers have a newunderstanding of domestic violence.

Amy Holloway is the director of a local domestic violence victim'sadvocacy group. She says some people are inherently at more risk thanothers. When you're married to someone who carries a gun for a living, shesays, you're at higher risk, and those married to police officers may havea tougher time getting help.

Stanley's girlfriend, Julie Morhidge, is in Ohio, but when she returnspolice expect to also charge her with simple assault for her part in theincident.

Last year, the Fraternal Order of Police asked officers in a surveywhether or not domestic violence was a problem in police families.Respondents said "yes" 82 percent of the time, which indicates policedepartments have work to do on this issue.

Editor's Note:

For many women, the hardest thing to do is walk away from an abusiverelationship, but there are tips for women, who out of fear or some otherreason, decide to stay in an abusive situation.

  • Know the hotline number for your local shelter.
  • During an argument, avoid the kitchen and the bathroom, two roomsin which you could be trapped.
  • Plan an escape route.
  • Have an extra car key and cash handy, in case you have to leave.
  • Tell a neighbor about the violent behavior and arrange a signalso they can call the police when something goes wrong.
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