Q: I read that state Sen. Troy Brown was arrested again for domestic abuse, this time for allegedly biting his wife on the arm. Wasn’t he arrested for domestic abuse in New Orleans for punching his side piece during the Bayou Classic last year? How is he still a state senator? How many domestic abuse charges does it take to kick someone out of office in Louisiana?
A: It depends on how many different people were domestically abused … allegedly.
In November, New Orleans police arrested Sen. Brown and charged him with misdemeanor domestic abuse battery for reportedly punching his girlfriend in her eye while she waited for an elevator at the Hyatt Regency hotel following the Bayou Classic football game. The Democrat from Geismar told police that he didn’t remember punching his “side friend” because he had been drinking and has short-term memory issues stemming from a 1991 car accident.
In the latest incident, deputies with the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested Brown at his home around midnight Sunday and charged him with domestic abuse battery for allegedly biting his wife during a dispute. He was released Monday morning after posting $5,000 bail.
His apparent lack of favoritism could be seen as a plus by his constituents and fellow legislators.
Between these two domestic abuse arrests, Brown has continued to represent the people of Louisiana’s 2nd Senatorial District, including during three contentious legislative sessions. Despite the rancor, Brown managed to avoid getting arrested for punching or biting any colleagues or staffers during those combative sessions.
While no one knows for sure exactly how many times a sitting lawmaker can be arrested on domestic abuse charges before being removed from office, we doubt Brown will be forced to vacate his seat following the latest charge. He has some mitigating factors working in his favor.
First, the two incidents involve two different women: Katasha Willis, his “side friend” of over 10 years, and his wife, Toni, to whom he’s been married hopefully longer than that. His apparent lack of favoritism could be seen as a plus by his constituents and fellow legislators.
Had Brown’s two domestic abuse arrests within eight months involved the same woman, Brown’s seat might be in danger. But probably not. Unless he put her in a coma or something. Maybe. It’s still doubtful. Nevertheless, it’s a deft move for Brown to have both a “side friend” and a wife as his punching bag/pacifier to help protect his political career.
Plus, thanks to his short-term memory loss, Brown likely doesn’t remember either alleged altercation, which means his conscience is clear. And perhaps after a few more domestic abuse arrests, neither his wife nor his side friend will remember anything, either.