A sickening new report on the sex crimes unit of the New Orleans police department reveals that reports of sexual assaults and rape were routinely ignored by a group of detectives—including one detective who "did not believe that simple rape should be a crime."
If you'd like to read the entire New Orleans inspector general's report on how five detectives managed to utterly ignore hundreds and hundreds of serious sex crime reports, see here. If you would like a short version of the findings, this will give you some idea of how much damage a small handful of (Corrupt? Incompetent? Lazy?) police detectives can do to the social fabric of an entire city, and to people's lives:
- Of the 1,290 calls reviewed, 840 (65%) were designated as "miscellaneous" with no reports written. Of the remaining 450 calls (35%) that were designated as sex crimes, the five detectives followed their brief initial reports with supplemental reports only 40 percent of the time, producing just 179 supplemental reports during the three-year period.
- In 271 of the designated sex crime cases, no supplemental reports were produced documenting any investigative effort beyond the brief initial report.
The general findings are bad enough. Some of the specifics are worse. The report tells of detectives callously ignoring evidence of serious crimes, lying about sending in lab results, and acting in a way that is far more disgusting than a mere lack of professionalism. From the New York Times:
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. In a log book, the detective explained that the kit was never submitted "because the sex was consensual." 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."