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Mayor Rawlings Devastated by Domestic Killing Spree

by Emily Roberts | Aug 12, 2013

Mayor Mike Rawlings says he’s ‘devastated’ by Dallas, DeSoto domestic killing spree, vows to push for reforms

August 9, 2013
by Scott Goldstein
The Dallas Morning News

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, who has gained national attention for his campaign against domestic violence, said this afternoon that he is “devastated” by a domestic violence shooting spree in which four women were killed on Wednesday night.

“It’s a very sad day for anybody that cares about women and women’s rights and children in this city,” Rawlings said in a phone interview.

Erbie Lee Bowser, 44, faces multiple capital murder charges after authorities say he killed his former girlfriend and her teenage daughter in southwest Dallas around 10:30 p.m. and then drove about 7 miles to DeSoto to kill his estranged wife and her daughter. He is accused of tossing a grenade into the DeSoto home before that shooting. Four people were wounded in the shootings.

The mayor vowed to push on in his fight against men who abuse women, nearly five months after he drew thousands to City Hall for a rally against domestic violence. He said he met just yesterday with District Attorney Craig Watkins on the issue and he plans to hold a private meeting by the end of this month with Police Chief David Brown, Watkins and county judges who handle protective orders.

“The real question is, ‘what can we do better as a system?’”

The mayor said he wants to produce a “cross-jurisdictional strategic plan for the city and the county.”

Specifically, Rawlings said domestic violence cases must move faster through the court system.

“Because we don’t have the resources to move these cases along quickly, sometimes they’re a year long before someone is really brought to court,” Rawlings said. “In that interim, the victim pulls away and things change so most of these things start to get dropped out.”

The mayor, a Dallas Mavericks fan, said he recalls seeing Bowser at games when he performed with the zany Dallas Mavericks ManiAACs dance troupe.

Bowser had a history of domestic violence, but it isn’t in his criminal record because he completed the Dallas County court program for veterans in the summer of 2012.

Bowser entered the Veterans Court after attacking his wife at her DeSoto home in January 2011. She had filed for divorce and wanted him to move out, according to a protective order application she signed.

As he has in the past, Rawlings referred to men who abuse women as “terrorists.”

“These are terrorists, these are people that are creating terror in our backyard,” Rawlings said. “And if we looked at them in that way we would move heaven and earth to stop this.”

“This is the result of a culture of accepting domestic violence in our city,” he said. “We all do it. And we know people that have hit somebody and we don’t stand up and create a taboo about this the way it needs to be, whether it’s in the media or whether it’s in our personal lives.”

Read more at Dallasnewscom.

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