Trisha Farkarlun Defenders- The Usual Suspects
2007 Star Tribune story:
Woman who claims she was raped by police is charged
By David Chanen
Minneapolis Star Tribune (7/7/07)
A 21-year-old woman alleged on July 28 that two Minneapolis police officers sexually assaulted her minutes after they had previous contact with her on a disturbance call. She immediately went to the hospital for an exam and filed a police report.
The Police Department investigation began immediately as required by department policy. Two internal affairs sergeants went to the hospital and took a recorded statement from her. Possible evidence was examined, including the GPS system in the squad car.
That system determined the officers had been driving at the time of the alleged assault. Four days later, the city attorney's office charged her with filing a false police misconduct report.
On Monday, community leaders and the woman's family voiced outrage over how the department handled the case and demanded an outside investigation.
"We have a rape victim who did everything right," said Rebecca Waggoner-Kloek, manager of OutFront Minnesota Anti-Violence Program. "She went to the hospital and had an exam and tried to report the rape to police."
Waggoner-Kloek, also a member of Minneapolis' Police Community Relations Council, questioned why a required information card with the names of the officers who handled the case wasn't given. She also said the department should have sent a sex crimes investigator instead of two from internal affairs and asked, "Why didn't the department wait for DNA results?"
The woman's name is public because of the charge filed against her, but the Star Tribune is not naming her because of the potential that she could, indeed, be a sexual assault victim. Her sister said she "isn't doing well at all and won't be the same."
The police had no comment Monday.
According to the criminal complaint against the woman:
Police were called to a home in north Minneapolis at 6:19 a.m., where a resident said she wanted the woman removed. The woman left and walked toward a bus stop.
She said the two officers who responded to the call followed her, dragged her into an alley and raped her. She was driven to a hospital by a witness at 6:59 a.m. The nurse who examined the woman didn't detect any injuries to indicate a rape, and investigators said her clothes showed no signs of her being pushed to the ground.
The charges and a police statement issued last week said the investigators reviewed the timeline of events using calls for service data, GPS data from the squad car and video recorded by the in-squad camera. The two officers cleared the scene from the original call at 6:31. At 6:42 a.m., the ! officers made a traffic stop.
During the 11 minutes after the officers left the woman and before they began the traffic stop, their squad car was in continuous motion. At no point during that time was the car near where the alleged assault occurred. After the first traffic stop was completed, the squad car was again in continuous motion until a second traffic stop was initiated at 7:03 a.m.
The woman arrived at the hospital at 6:59 a.m. The investigators also met the two accused officers and examined their outer garments and appearance for possible evidence; no dirt, damage or injuries were observed.
Based on the evidence collected, the investigators determined that the allegation was false and that the case should be presented for criminal charges.
False allegations, especially of this nature, are damaging to the relationship between police officers and the community, sowing mistrust among both, according to the police statement.
Ron Edwards, co-chairman of the Police Community Relations Council, questioned the accuracy of the GPS system and how the officers' uniforms would have remained "very clean and pressed" after a long shift. He said Police Chief Tim Dolan would meet with the council to discuss the case this week.
"We're letting the Police Department know we're here," said Council Member Steve Blake. "They are running and hiding."