We have covered numerous times the problems that come with being arrested and charged with domestic violence. While the American legal system insists that individuals are innocent until proven guilty, many people in Grand Rapids know that there are certain people for whom it is reversed: they are guilty until proven innocent. People in the public eye, such as famous athletes, are often assumed to be guilty the moment an accusation comes out.
Many people in Michigan have heard of Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson, a former wide receiver with the Dolphins. After he was recently arrested and accused of head-butting his wife, Johnson's contract was cut and he will not be playing in the NFL this year. Despite the fact that there was merely an accusation of domestic violence, the football team has already determined he is guilty and fired him.
Police say that Johnson's wife had discovered a receipt and questioned her husband about it. The discussion soon escalated and his wife claims that he head butted her. The woman's forehead was cut in the encounter. Johnson, however, said that his wife had head butted him, causing her injury. While either of these stories could have been right, only Johnson was arrested.
While not many people in Grand Rapids have the fame and publicity of Ochocinco, they face many of the same issues if accused of domestic violence. Just an accusation is enough, in many cases, to disrupt, if not destroy, an individual's career and personal relationships. Even if he or she can prove his or her innocence, the damage may already be done.
Source: CNN, "Miami Dolphins cut Chad Johnson after head-butting arrest," Aug. 13, 2012
Find out more about domestic violence in Michigan by checking out our website.