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There are roughly 400,000 untested rape kits sitting in evidence lockers right now in America

This also means that there are possibly 400,000 rapists on the loose. If We Want To Take Sexual Assault Seriously, We Need To Test Thousands Of Rape Kits First | ThinkProgress
Despite the prevalence of sexual crimes — an estimated one in three women experiences sexual violence at some point in her life — it has a shockingly low conviction rate. The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) estimates that only three out of every 100 rapists will ever spend a day in prison. That’s partly because of low reporting rates, of course, but that’s not the whole story. Of the rapes that are reported to the police, only about one out of four leads to an arrest — and of those arrests, only about one out of four leads to a conviction. “Our poor criminal justice response to sexual assault is a really basic failure — a tangible symbol of how society and law enforcement fails rape victims,” Sarah Tofte, the director of policy and advocacy for Joyful Heart, told ThinkProgress. “It’s a symbol of lost justice, and a lack of healing and closure for survivors.” Tofte believes there are concrete steps that law enforcement can take to shift that narrative. She’s heading up a new project at Joyful Heart called End the Backlog — an effort to pressure states and cities to address the estimated 400,000 rape kits that are left untested, a dynamic that prevents sexual assault cases from moving forward. There are two places where rape kits get stalled in the system: in police storage facilities, where a detective or prosecutor may not have the resources to request testing; and in crime labs, where rape kits are waiting to be tested but aren’t prioritized ahead of other DNA evidence.

December 06, 2013

Georgia man arrested for stealing five cents of electricity

I'm sure the fact that the guy isn't white isn't a factor at all, right? Electric Car Owner Arrested For Stealing 5 Cents Worth Of Power -- CBS Atlanta
A Georgia man was arrested and charged with the theft of about 5 cents worth of electricity after plugging his electric car into an exterior outlet at his son’s school while the 11-year-old was at tennis practice. Within minutes of plugging his electric Nissan Leaf into Chamblee High School, Kaveh Kamooneh said he looked over from his son’s tennis practice to notice a police officer sitting inside his vehicle, reports WXIA-TV. “I noticed that somebody was in my car,” said Kamooneh. “I walked over and it was a Chamblee police officer who then informed me that he was about to arrest me or at least charge me with theft.” Kamooneh said he charged his car for about 20 minutes from the exterior outlet – drawing at most 5 cents, or half of 1 kilowatt, worth of electricity. Don Francis of Clean Cities Atlanta, an electric vehicle advocacy group, told WXIA-TV the estimate of 5 cents is accurate. Chamblee police said it was simply a matter of principle. “I’m not sure how much electricity he stole,” Chamblee Police Sgt. Ernesto Ford told WXIA. Ford added it doesn’t matter. “He broke the law. He stole something that wasn’t his.” “A theft is a theft,” he said. . . . Kamooneh said he tried to reason with police by comparing the incident to someone taking a drink from a garden hose or charging a cell phone or laptop at a public place.

December 04, 2013

Off-duty cop rams citizen's car off road, gets out and breaks man's arm

Of course the cop says he only broke the guy's arm because he was pulling out his wallet to exchange insurance information. Man accuses off-duty Concord cop of road rage - SFGate
An Oakland man filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Tuesday against the city of Concord, saying an off-duty police officer deliberately rammed his Mini Cooper and broke his arm during a road rage incident. The officer, though, told authorities that the Mini Cooper driver had been the aggressor. Walther Weiland, 64, said Officer Kevin Mansourian cut him off Feb. 17 on westbound Highway 24 in Orinda as the lanes merged near the Caldecott Tunnel. After Weiland tried to pull around Mansourian, the off-duty officer rammed his Infiniti into Weiland's Mini Cooper, causing moderate damage, said the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Oakland. Weiland alleged that when he got out of his car to exchange insurance information, Mansourian screamed, "What the f- are you doing? I'm an off-duty police officer!" Weiland asked to see his police identification, but Mansourian refused and slammed him to the ground, holding him there until a California Highway Patrol officer arrived, the suit said. Weiland suffered a broken arm and was never charged criminally in the incident, said his attorney, Michael Haddad. "Any time someone breaks another person's arm in a road rage incident, there should be consequences," Haddad said. "We're concerned that just because he's an officer, that he might be getting away with this."