On Thursday May 26, New York police officers Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata were found not guilty of charges that Moreno raped a woman in her apartment while Mata kept guard, despite the fact that the amount of evidence against the officers in this case was overwhelming. Instead, the jury convicted both officers of official misconduct for entering the woman’s apartment, but found them not guilty of all other charges, including burglary and falsifying business records. This despite the fact that one of the officers had been recorded on tape admitting to using a condom when having sex with the woman who made the accusation. The cornerstone of the defense required that the woman was too drunk to have a credible account of the incident, but sober enough to consent to sex.
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.
Sign this petition to tell NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly and NYPD leadership to:
1) 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) 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) 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.
Tell the NYPD: Train Your Cops About Sexual Assault!