I’m not sure if you heard, but two NYPD cops were found not guilty of raping a woman they were supposed to give a ride home and a ride home only. It sounded like a pretty easy case. And then the verdict came yesterday. Despite all the evidence over the course of testimony, the jury was not convinced that the victim and one of the cops had sex. There was a lot of discussion over how drunk the victim was, and how much sex she had prior to the night in question. None of this is relevant, because the cop was called to assist a woman who was very intoxicated, and then he had sex with her. This is rape.
LET US REVIEW WHAT YOU, AS A POLICE OFFICER, ARE SUPPOSED TO DO WHEN YOU GET A CALL ABOUT A WOMAN WHO IS INTOXICATED AND NEEDS A RIDE HOME:
- Report to her location ASAP
- Take her home safely
- Assuming she is safe and does not need medical attention, you leave. If not, you call upon medical staff to assist her.
Do not, at any point over the course of these actions, have sex with her. You were told that she was intoxicated and therefore she can not give consent.
By the way, these aren’t the directions for only a police officer, it’s what you do as a proper human being. If a woman is intoxicated and calls upon your assistance in taking her home, you take her to her door, and unless she requires further help, you go home. If she requires further help, you either give her that assistance if you know what you’re doing or you call upon a professional who can do so.
The two officers called upon to help her failed in their duties. Let’s talk about that.
HERE IS WHAT YOU AREN’T SUPPOSED TO DO:
- Enter and leave her apartment four times over the course of the night and only report one visit properly
- Report a false claim about a homeless person in the vestibule in the building to cover your tracks as part of one of your return visits
- Stay at the apartment if you believe that she is well enough to walk around and talk
- Cuddle with her and kissing her head in bed as she lies pretty much entirely nude
- Continue a conversation with her sometime after that night in which you admit to using a condom on her, which means you had sex with her even though you were called to the scene because she was intoxicated
Nothing about the cops’ testimony made any sense whatsoever. Yet the woman who was violated somehow became the accused, as it pertains to her sexual history and drinking habits. In a case filled with humiliating moments, one of the lawyers for Officer Moreno compared her vagina to a venus fly trap.
No word on whether or not any predatory terminology was used as a comparison to Officer Moreno’s dick. Moreno, a recovering alcoholic and someone who made several terrible decisions that night, was not held to the same scrutiny.
What does this mean? It’s another scar on the NYPD’s record. Even worse? Women can no longer trust officers to act professionally when they’re asked to take women home safely. The most basic of requirements of a NYPD officer - to protect - could not be fulfilled, and the victim was shamed and discredited for coming forward. A friend of mine wrote about not knowing who she could count on to take her home safely if she needs it and that is fucking tragic.
Of course, it’s not just about the NYPD. A society that constantly excuses crimes because of what she wore or what she had to drink or how much sex she had in the months prior to the crime brings about a justice system that doesn’t know how to convict a police officer who had all the evidence stacked against him. We deserve better and we need to support survivors in every way we can.
If you’re in NYC later today and are able to, please go to this rally at the Manhattan Criminal Court building.