TW for sexual assault and cover-up.
[h/t to my very good friend: @statesidemenace]
You can file this under: why women don’t report sexual assaults. When you see things like this, you think, “what’s the fucking point?” When the police view your sexual assault as an inconvenience because it will mess up their crime statistics instead a problem that needs to be eradicated, what else can you think?
New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas‘ tenure as police chief in Nashville is under scrutiny amid recent revelations that the police department there is reclassifying hundreds of sexual assault reports.
The move comes after media reports that showed disparities in how reported crimes were calculated and questioned the claims of public safety officials about drops in crime.
Ironically, the new scrutiny of the way police in Nashville have treated sex crimes comes as Serpas is conducting a similar review of the way New Orleans police have handled such crimes before his arrival here as chief of police.
A recent report in The Tennessean newspaper highlighted the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department’s reclassification of nearly 400 sex crime reports.
The newspaper reported that the change bumped up by about 10 percent the number of sex crimes in recent years handled by the Nashville Police Department, which was led by Serpas from January 2004 until last May.
The department told The Tennessean that the reclassifications are a matter of terminology and that all cases were investigated thoroughly.
This comes on the heels of this report:
New Orleans police officers seldom sought to interrogate rape suspects, while they sometimes peppered victims with biased questions suggesting they were to blame for their attacks, according to a review of sexual-assault complaints by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Last year, not long after he was appointed, Superintendent Ronal Serpas replaced the leader of the unit and ordered an audit of complaints that had been labeled “miscellaneous incidents” by detectives. Following the audit, NOPD officials reclassified dozens of them, saying they would be investigated as sex crimes.
The report took care to emphasize that policy changes are under way at the NOPD, particularly in the sex crimes unit.
Still, the Justice Department review suggests the unit’s deficiencies are deep. In many cases, detectives conducted victim interviews with the seeming aim of categorizing the allegations as false, according to the review. The report suggests many more complaints might need to be reinvestigated.
Basically, this dude just plain sucks and SHOULDN’T BE IN CHARGE OF ANYTHING ANYWHERE.
In May 2010, Fox 8 in NOLA reported this (at which time Serpas was in Nashville, covering up sexual assault cases):
In 1998, when Serpas was the NOPD’s Chief of Operations, he got a formal reprimand from Chief Richard Pennington for an incident that happened three years earlier.
At the time, Serpas was in charge of the department’s Special Operations Division, which included the Mounted Division. According to an internal report, money from the NOPD’s 1995 operating budget was used to pay bribes to a police department contractor.
The officer who admitted to arranging the kick-back scheme told the FBI that Serpas helped him devise the plan.
A day after this was published, the mayor of NOLA appointed Serpas police chief. Awesome.