NYPD captain under fire for saying police ‘not too worried’ about date rape rise
A NYPD captain’s dismissive remarks about a 62.5 percent spike in reported rapes in 2016 has drawn a backlash. Peter Rose said the police were not worried about it because in most of the cases, the victims knew the perpetrators.
Rose commands the 94th Precinct, in the Greenpoint neighborhood in Brooklyn. In 2016, there were 13 rapes reports there, compared to eight in 2015, with three cases remaining unsolved. Rose described the situation to the news website DNAinfo ahead of a meeting with the community council as something the police are not concerned about.
“Some of them were Tinder, some of them were hookup sites, some of them were actually coworkers. It's not a trend that we're too worried about because out of 13, only two were true stranger rapes,” he said, adding that in many cases, victims would not cooperate with the investigation.
“Every rape should be investigated. I wish we could do more,” Rose added.
Later at the meeting on Wednesday, he reportedly made similar comments, implying that victims of rape by acquaintances are somehow less hurt than those targeted by strangers.
“They're not total abomination rapes where strangers are being dragged off the streets,” Rose said.
“If there's a true stranger rape, a random guy picks up a stranger off the street, those are the troubling ones. That person has, like, no moral standards,” he added.
The NYPD basically came out & said they don't believe it's rape if you knew your attacker or met them through an app. This is who cops are. https://t.co/Z9l2mGPcib— Joe Macaré (@joemacare) January 6, 2017
The apparent lack of compassion drew fire from public officials after the controversial comments went viral on Friday.
“The comments by the Captain do not represent the views of the mayor, our administration, or of an NYPD that is deeply committed to fighting for survivors of sexual assault,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's office said in a statement.
“Rape is rape, in New York City and everywhere else. The crime merits no moral qualification and does not involve shades of criminality or degrees of danger. In New York City, rape is aggressively investigated and prosecuted blind to the nature of the underlying relationship, and with an absolute focus on obtaining justice for the survivor and safety for our neighborhoods,” the mayor’s press secretary, Eric Phillps, said.
@colinjones I personally know three different women who have been told by NYPD not to report rape because they met the assailant on tinder— Kari Paul (@kari_paul) January 6, 2017
NYPD Deputy Commissioner Stephen Davis said Rose's comments “did not properly explain the complexity of issues involved with investigating rape complaints.”
“Every report of rape is thoroughly investigated by specially trained detectives in the NYPD's Special Victims Unit. All complaints of rape and other types of sexual crimes are taken seriously whether they are committed by domestic partners, acquaintances, or strangers,” Davis told the media.
Some women’s rights groups called for Rose to be dismissed for his inappropriate comments.
We must #TakeRapeSeriously no matter the attacker or victim. Tweet us your stories and opinions. NYPD has to stop perpetuating rape myths.— NOW-NYC (@NOW_NYC) January 6, 2017
US statistics on perpetrators of rape are in line with what the NYPD precinct reported. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, only about 14 percent of such crimes are committed by strangers. The victim support group Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, on the other hand, says 28 percent of rapes are committed by total strangers.