New Orleans Police Routinely Ignored Sex Crimes
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times
Posted: November 23rd, 2014
A scathing examination of this citys Police Department has concluded that five detectives tasked with investigating sex crimes failed to pursue hundreds of reported cases. It was a persistent, systemic problem, said Howard Schwartz, the inspector generals lead investigator. The report described how victims charges of sexual assault were ignored, referrals from medical personnel were dismissed, and evidence was not processed; in some cases the detective would mark down in a report that evidence had been sent to the state laboratory, though no records could be found that the laboratory received anything. In one case, a 2-year-old was brought to the emergency room on suspicion of having been the victim of a sexual assault and was found to have a sexually transmitted disease. The detective did no follow-up and closed the case. In another, a nurse collected DNA evidence from a victim in a rape kit, but the detective apparently never submitted the kit for testing. That same detective, the report said, told at least three different people that he or she did not believe that simple rape should be a crime. These findings are not new to the New Orleans police force, which is under federal court supervision after having been found to have a pattern of inefficient, abusive and corrupt police work.