A handful of police detectives in New Orleans had such blatant disregard for the women and children of the city that they failed to seriously investigate more than 1,000 cases of sex crimes and child abuse, according to a shocking report released by the city’s inspector general.
In fact, one of the five detectives cited for the possible criminal negligence actually told several people that he didn’t think simple rape—which occurs when a person has sex with someone without their consent—should be considered a crime.
In all, the IG found that of the cases its office examined between January 2011 and December 2013, the five detectives filed follow-up reports for only 179 out of 1,290 sex crime cases. Some cases of potentially abused children and rape victims weren’t investigated at all—essentially tossed into the garbage.
In a city that is 60 percent Black, this astounding negligence and arrogance likely had a huge impact on the Black women and children of the city.
“These revelations suggest an indifference to our citizens that shouldn’t be tolerated,” said Ed Quatrevaux, the city’s inspector general, according to a report in The Guardian.
The report included the case of a detective handling child abuse who failed to investigate after a three-year-old had been brought to an emergency room due to an alleged sexual assault. The detective closing the case without any charges—even though the child had a sexually transmitted disease. The report charged that same detective with failing to adequately investigate two cases involving children brought to the emergency room with fractured skulls.
Of the detectives in question, police officials said they have been transferred to patrol duty and are under further investigation. In addition, two supervisors who oversaw them have been transferred.
Harrison said the five detectives could face criminal charges and be fired after an internal investigation is complete.
The New Orleans police force had been the subject of a probe by the US Justice Department, which found that force was rife with corruption and had numerous instances of excessive use of deadly force, discrimination and problems with its sex crimes unit. In 2012, the city agreed to a number of reforms, whose implementation are being overseen by a federal monitor.