A coalition of feminists and organizations, including our very own Lori, have organized a protest today in response to the acquittal of two New York City police officers for rape. The case was a disaster, hinging both on claims an officer did not rape the woman despite evidence to the contrary and assertions she was too drunk to remember the rape while also saying she was sober enough to communicate and consent.
Here’s the details:
WHAT: Protest against the acquittal of Officers Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata
WHERE: 100 Centre Street, in front of the Manhattan Criminal Court New York, NY
WHEN: Friday, May 27, 5pm
WHY: We deserve to be safe. This verdict, and the way the NYPD acted, sends the message that we’re not. “Cuddling” while naked, getting into bed with a woman you are charged to help and putting a woman in a position where she was terrified is never ok. The officers have been fired, which is a good first step, but the NYPD needs to be more vigilant in training its officers and ensuring that there are consequences for breaking the law and violating basic ethical rules.
If you’re not in New York City you can sign this petition demanding reforms of the NYPD’s approach to sexual assault.
You can find more information about the protest and RSVP here.
The demands that will be presented at the protest are after the jump.
1. Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly must institute sustained and comprehensive trainings for every incoming class of officers on rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and proper police conduct. A single training session, or a simplistic lecture not to rape, is NOT acceptable.
2. The NYPD must institute a zero-tolerance policy for sexual assault, sexual harassment and sexualized behavior while on the job. While this case illustrates an extreme example of police officers using their power to abuse women, too many of us have witnessed officers behaving in sexually inappropriate ways while on the job. There is no excuse for that behavior, and the police force must take it seriously. We want an easily-accessible reporting mechanism for sexual assault and harassment at the hands of police officers, and a demonstrated commitment to punishing officers who exploit their position to harass and assault the people they are supposed to protect.
3. The NYPD must be accountable to the New Yorkers they serve in a transparent process for implementing the above two demands. They must keep community leaders, local politicians and New York City residents informed about the initiatives they institute, and how they are working to make sure that an incident similar to the one involving former officers Mata and Moreno does not happen again.