- Michigan man among first in U.S. to get ‘bionic eye’
- JetBlue pilots vote to unionize; 2 previous attempts failed
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with ‘full-time’ robots
- Navy’s military dolphins may meet Putin’s porpoises in Black Sea
- Forget the Porsche — it’s the guy with the Prius that attracts the ladies, poll shows
- Fired Russian Facebook CEO says site has fallen in the hands of pro-Putin supporters
- Sen. Boozman of Arkansas has emergency heart surgery
- Brazil embraces drones to save the Amazon rain forest
- Teen stowaway shows holes in vast airport security
- Supreme Court to decide if passports can say ‘Jerusalem, Israel’
Report: D.C. fails to investigate sexual assaults
At least 170 reported sexual assaults — and possibly more — went uninvestigated by the D.C. police department between 2008 and 2011, according to a long-awaited report from a human rights group.
The 197-page report from New York-based Human Rights Watch also found a pattern of callous behavior by D.C. police toward sex assault victims, with many saying they were actively discouraged from pursuing a criminal case.
Human Rights Watch said it was prompted to investigate the agency because federal crime statistics showed D.C. reported a suspiciously low number of rapes and sexual assaults.
The department “believes that objective outside observers will agree that HRW in its desire to draw public attention to themselves has used unsupported and erroneous information to attack MPD’s handling of sexual abuse investigations,” Chief Lanier wrote in a Dec. 20 letter to the report’s author, Sara Darehshori. The police department placed its correspondence with Human Rights watch on its website.
Ms. Darehshori said the data used in the report comes directly from the police department. And while she acknowledged that collecting the statistics was an arduous, time-consuming process, she is confident in her report’s methodology and underlying data.
“We were very careful with the data,” Ms. Darehshori said. “We gave police the benefit of the doubt” any time there was ambiguity in how the data could be interpreted.
A large portion of the report focuses on sexual assault cases that came in through Washington Hospital Center, where sexual assault victims are sent for forensic examinations.
The report concluded that of the 480 sexual assault complaints that originated at the Center between October 2008 and September 2011, police failed to file incident reports in 170 of those cases, or 35 percent.
The report says police policy requires officers to produce an incident report, and that a criminal investigation cannot be done without it.
An additional 34 cases, or 7 percent, had incident reports but were placed in an administrative category that closed the cases with minimal investigation.
The report also raises questions about whether the department is investigating complaints that come in through forums other than the hospital, though it lacks hard statistical evidence to prove reports aren’t being filed in those circumstances.
The report also includes scores of interviews with people who filed complaints and felt they were treated badly, with some saying their experience with police was more traumatic than the sexual assault itself.
Kristopher Baumann, chairman of the D.C. chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, said the allegations in the report fit a pattern over the years of the department manipulating reports to generate positive statistics.
TWT Video Picks
Feds who send arms against ranch families betray American values
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, renegade
- Tactical advantage: Russian military shows off impressive new gear
- IRS revokes conservative group's tax-exempt status over anti-Clinton statements: report
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Inside China: Marine's comment on islands draws sharp Chinese response
- Michelle Obama: Obama family Sundays are more for napping than church
- Vice reporter Simon Ostrovsky being held by east Ukraine militants: report
- Bonuses given to IRS employes who owed back taxes
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.