Woman Tells Tampa Police She Was Raped, Then She Is Jailed For Outstanding Warrant - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-30-2007, 03:51 PM   #1
Blue Crack Addict
 
MrsSpringsteen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 24,984
Local Time: 02:49 AM
Woman Tells Tampa Police She Was Raped, Then She Is Jailed For Outstanding Warrant

Way to go there Tampa police. How's that for law enforcement? To add further incredible insult, she is also refused a second dose of the morning after pill.

They actually need to write a new policy to cover that. How about some common sense and decency in spite of policy-that might work.


The Associated Press
Updated: 3:28 p.m. ET Jan 30, 2007

TAMPA, Fla. - A woman who told police she had been raped was jailed for two days after officers found an old warrant accusing her of failing to pay restitution for a 2003 theft arrest.

While she was behind bars, according to the college student’s attorney, a jail worker refused to give her a second dose of the morning-after contraceptive pill because of the worker’s religious convictions.

The 21-year-old woman was released Monday only after attorney Vic Moore reported her plight to the local media.

“Shocked. Stunned. Outraged. I don’t have words to describe it,” Moore said. “She is not a victim of any one person. She is a victim of the system. There’s just got to be some humanity involved when it’s a victim of rape.”

Moore said the woman was not allowed to take the second emergency contraceptive pill until Monday afternoon, a day late, after reporters called police and jail officials.

Tampa police said they were changing their policy to give officers more discretion on when to arrest a crime victim who has outstanding warrants.

“Obviously, any policy that allows a sexual battery victim to spend a night in jail is a flawed policy,” police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said. “So our city attorney is writing a new policy right now.”

The woman is not being identified by The Associated Press because she reported being the victim of a sex crime.

Moore said it was too soon to say if his client would sue.

She was in Tampa on Saturday for Gasparilla, an annual pirate-themed parade that draws thousands of people. She said she was walking alone to her car when a man pulled her behind a building and raped her, McElroy said.

She reported the rape Saturday afternoon, and officers took her to a rape crisis center where she was given the first of two doses of the morning-after pill, McElroy said. The second dose is supposed to be taken within 24 hours.

Later, as she was riding in a patrol car trying to locate the crime scene in the dark, police found the warrant stemming from a 2003 juvenile arrest for grand theft and burglary. It said she owed $4,585.

“They stopped the investigation right there,” and put her in handcuffs, Moore said.

He said his client believes she paid the fine for what he described as a childish mistake. He didn’t have details of that arrest, but the woman has no criminal history as an adult, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Jail officials did not immediately return a call seeking comment Tuesday.
__________________

__________________
MrsSpringsteen is offline  
Old 01-30-2007, 04:44 PM   #2
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
Vincent Vega's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Berlin
Posts: 6,615
Local Time: 08:49 AM
The jail worker should get charged for not giving her the pill.
His/Her religious beliefs are no excuse at all.

It's unbelievable that for the police the $4,000 charge was more important than a rape.
__________________

__________________
Vincent Vega is offline  
Old 01-30-2007, 04:53 PM   #3
Forum Moderator
 
yolland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,471
Local Time: 08:49 AM
I read about this in the Tampa paper...yeah, that was one seriously f*ed-up judgment call on the police department's part. I'm also puzzled as to why an alleged failure to pay restitution wouldn't have been followed up on much earlier, anyhow; grand theft and burglary are felonies.

Apparently at least one of the arresting officers, as well as the jail nurse who refused to give the morning-after pill, were women--you'd like to think that would've perhaps made them more sensitive to the sick absurdity of the situation, but I guess in this case not.
__________________
yolland [at] interference.com


μελετώ αποτυγχάνειν. -- Διογένης της Σινώπης
yolland is offline  
Old 01-30-2007, 05:43 PM   #4
Blue Crack Addict
 
Liesje's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: In the dog house
Posts: 19,557
Local Time: 02:49 AM
I'm not saying I agree with their actions at all, but I'm curious what people think the alternative should have been? Ignore the outstanding arrest warrant? Waive the fine altogether? Pretend they didn't know?

IMO, and outstanding arrest warrant is an outstanding arrest warrant and I don't think it's a patrol officers call whether or not the warrant is fair or should/should not be executed. Also, as terrible as the situation is, alleged rape is what it is - alleged - until proven in a court of law. This is a really sticky situation.

I'm a woman and as much as I'd like to side with the victim in this case, even say the warrant should have been ignored, there've been more than one high profile cases recently where men's lives have been destroyed because accusations were treated like convictions, and investigations get so fucked up when people try to make their own judgment calls. It sucks, it seems cold, harsh, and insensitive, but the criminal justice and legal system should always remain as objective as possible, going both ways.

Quote:
It's unbelievable that for the police the $4,000 charge was more important than a rape.
Yes, but it's not really their call. Patrol officers have a duty to follow through on these warrants. They're not sex crimes detectives and not working for the DA, so they simply don't have the power to decide that a) a rape did in fact exist and b) the warrant should be ignored. Again, I'm not saying I agree with how the situation was handled, or that they couldn't have treated her with a bit more dignity, but imagine what precedent it would set if people get off the hook when something traumatic occurs.

I'm glad they are changing their arrest policies. It's sad this had to happen to the victim in order for that to happen.

My biggest issue here is a jail worker denying her the morning after pill. Even if it's against his/her (idiotic) religious convictions, the pill is standard rape kit procedure. Why would you work, or be allowed to work, for the criminal justice system if you had objections to basic procedures?!
__________________
Liesje is offline  
Old 01-30-2007, 06:39 PM   #5
Rock n' Roll Doggie
VIP PASS
 
Vincent Vega's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Berlin
Posts: 6,615
Local Time: 08:49 AM
In my opinion they should have gone to the hospital with her.
There the doctors can find out whether she got raped.
I didn't say, or intend to say, they should've let her go.
They could easily have gone after the rape allegation, and later after the outstanding restitution warrant.
But what they did was just, finding out there is this restitution warrant, so they dropped the investigation of the rape incident and brought her to jail.

As a police officer you can't say "Rape is not my business." Then you have to pass the investigation on.
That didn't mean they couldn't have gone after the restitution warrant at all, just do one step after the other.
__________________
Vincent Vega is offline  
Old 01-30-2007, 07:01 PM   #6
Forum Moderator
 
yolland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,471
Local Time: 08:49 AM
^ Right. I do appreciate the seriousness of the warrant, which is why I was wondering how that was apparently let slide for 4 years to begin with--don't they normally follow up on it when someone fails to pay restitution for a felony? I have no idea how that sort of thing is usually handled, but it seems strange to me.

As far as what they should have done instead, I think the main point here (which it would seem they agree with, since they're now changing their policy) is simply that they shouldn't be summarily tossing rape victims in jail before completing the usual rape investigation procedures (like checking out the crime scene) and ensuring the victim has had the usual opportunities to avail herself of crisis intervention services. As far as what the enforcement alternatives might have been concerning the warrant, I don't personally know enough about how that sort of thing is typically handled to speculate. Rape is rape and the trauma to the victim (which is why guidelines for how to work with rape victims exist, after all) is not going to be any less simply because she has a prior criminal record.

Treating accusations like convictions is not really a relevant risk here it seems to me, since the woman didn't know the described attacker and any awful mistakes in identifying suspects which might conceivably occur aren't likely to be influenced one way or the other by her own previous conviction.
__________________
yolland [at] interference.com


μελετώ αποτυγχάνειν. -- Διογένης της Σινώπης
yolland is offline  
Old 01-30-2007, 07:13 PM   #7
Blue Crack Addict
 
Liesje's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: In the dog house
Posts: 19,557
Local Time: 02:49 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
^ Right. I do appreciate the seriousness of the warrant, which is why I was wondering how that was apparently let slide for 4 years to begin with--don't they normally follow up on it when someone fails to pay restitution for a felony? I have no idea how that sort of thing is usually handled, but it seems strange to me.
Yes, they do go after people, but there's only so much time and resources any department has to waste before letting it go. Say they've spent a month searching for the person and by that time, murders and rapes have occurred. They have to use their time and resources where they can be used best, and hope that the person turns him/herself in, gets caught on a simple traffic violation, or otherwise turns up eventually. If every police department looked for those with outstanding warrants until these people were found, we'd have no patrol officers or detectives available for the new crimes being committed.


I hope my other post doesn't sound too harsh, I really am on her side here. But I have lots of family in law enforcement, including a police captain uncle who ran the county jail, and it so often happens that it's the cops who are just doing their jobs as they've been told who get blamed or accused for everything, when it's the system itself that needs to be changed. They have a duty to carry out certain orders; we can't expect them to disobey these orders or decide for themselves what is "right" in every situation. I'm glad that Tampa is already working on how these types of situations will be handled in the future.

Vincent, I would assume they did take her to have a rape kit done. That's where the victims get the morning after pills. From the article:
Quote:
She reported the rape Saturday afternoon, and officers took her to a rape crisis center where she was given the first of two doses of the morning-after pill, McElroy said.
However, many victims refuse rape kits ("going to the hospital") for many reasons. The police cannot force someone to have a rape kit done, but it sounds like it was done in this case and if not, they obviously would have suggested it.
__________________
Liesje is offline  
Old 01-30-2007, 07:41 PM   #8
Forum Moderator
 
yolland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,471
Local Time: 08:49 AM
That is a good point about not blaming people for carrying out non-negotiable orders (and you could extend that to other arenas besides law enforcement, too; people in all kinds of authority positions often get blamed for enforcing things they're duty-bound to enforce). It sounds, though, like the problem in this case was that there weren't clear orders--the police department did have an existing policy against arresting violent crime victims on outstanding misdemeanor warrants, but no specific guidelines for felony warrants, and apparently the officers involved reasoned that therefore they should arrest her. So it seems there really was a judgment call involved here, and IMHO the wrong one. As I said, I don't know enough about how this kind of thing is usually handled to suggest what else they could've done, but nothing I've read suggests that this was clearly their only option per the rules.

It's true she did get a medical exam at the rape crisis center, but according to her attorney at least, no counseling, and no opportunity later to call their hotline either, since as an inmate she could only make collect calls.
__________________
yolland [at] interference.com


μελετώ αποτυγχάνειν. -- Διογένης της Σινώπης
yolland is offline  
Old 01-30-2007, 07:52 PM   #9
ONE
love, blood, life
 
indra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 12,689
Local Time: 03:49 AM
Anyone know the thinking behind why the rape crisis center where she was taken and given the first of two doses of the morning after pill didn't give her the second part when she was there? Or did they and then when she was put in jail it was taken from her and the chick with the chip wouldn't give it to her?
__________________
indra is offline  
Old 01-30-2007, 07:56 PM   #10
Forum Moderator
 
yolland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,471
Local Time: 08:49 AM
According to the Tampa paper,
Quote:
Hillsborough County sheriff's spokeswoman Debbie Carter could not comment about that allegation or anything else about the woman's medical situation because of the federal health information privacy act. However, she said all medications are confiscated from inmates upon their arrival until they are verified.
__________________
yolland [at] interference.com


μελετώ αποτυγχάνειν. -- Διογένης της Σινώπης
yolland is offline  
Old 01-30-2007, 08:44 PM   #11
Jesus Online
 
Angela Harlem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: a glass castle
Posts: 30,163
Local Time: 06:49 PM
I cannot believe for one second that their only option was to pursue the warrant charge while halting the rape claim. That cannot be procedural. There's more than just the system to blame. The 'system' is flawed everywhere, that's a given. A criminal charge cannot take a backseat to outstandings. A criminal charge like that falls under the highest code here, if it were on site. It is simply beyond comprehension that this is procedural. Unreal.
__________________
<a href=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v196/angelaharlem/thPaul_Roos28.jpg target=_blank>http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...aul_Roos28.jpg</a>
Angela Harlem is offline  
Old 01-30-2007, 09:31 PM   #12
New Yorker
 
Scarletwine's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Outside it's Amerika
Posts: 2,746
Local Time: 02:49 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by indra
Anyone know the thinking behind why the rape crisis center where she was taken and given the first of two doses of the morning after pill didn't give her the second part when she was there? Or did they and then when she was put in jail it was taken from her and the chick with the chip wouldn't give it to her?
I read an update a few minutes ago. The matron wouldn't give her the third dose they had taken away. Now the parents are involved and have receipts for several payments made when due, though they haven't said whether it was in full. Still it's disgusting that she was taken out of her hopital room and wasn't able to be held there for a time while she was being treated.
__________________
Scarletwine is offline  
Old 01-31-2007, 12:01 AM   #13
Refugee
 
dazzlingamy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The city of blinding lights and amazing coffee - Melbourne.
Posts: 2,468
Local Time: 06:49 PM
I just think its horrible that the medication was taken away from her and then not given back to her - as it is a very important thing she needs (ie if a person had a heart problem, or was diabetic, im sure they would get it back as it is essential to their health)

While I don't think they should have let her go, or waiver any amount she owes, the fact they just stopped an investigation of a rape, for a bit of money is just wrong. What if the rapist is now out of the county or whatever, purely because they didn't want to help a 'criminal'? I think the standards are all over the place!
__________________
dazzlingamy is offline  
Old 01-31-2007, 08:51 AM   #14
Blue Crack Addict
 
MrsSpringsteen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 24,984
Local Time: 02:49 AM
I understand that police officers have a very difficult job, and I don't intend to bash them. There are great ones, and all of them face extremely difficult situations on a daily and hourly basis.

But their duty is to protect and to serve-and the officers involved here certainly didn't serve this woman. Allegations aren't crimes, but they still need to be handled with sensitivity and decency. When police officers treat someone like they treated her, it creates a mistrust to say the least. And it's just one more example of why rape victims don't want to go to the police. Not to mention that stopping the investigation right there probably hindered the possibility of catching the alleged rapist.

She owed money-what is money compared to an alleged rape? What was she going to do, flee? After she was allegedly raped? I really have to wonder if they tended to disbelieve her rape allegation just because she had an outstanding warrant. That's sort of the elephant in the room.
__________________
MrsSpringsteen is offline  
Old 01-31-2007, 12:12 PM   #15
Blue Crack Distributor
 
Headache in a Suitcase's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Stateless
Posts: 56,443
Local Time: 02:49 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Liesje
I'm not saying I agree with their actions at all, but I'm curious what people think the alternative should have been? Ignore the outstanding arrest warrant? Waive the fine altogether? Pretend they didn't know?

IMO, and outstanding arrest warrant is an outstanding arrest warrant and I don't think it's a patrol officers call whether or not the warrant is fair or should/should not be executed. Also, as terrible as the situation is, alleged rape is what it is - alleged - until proven in a court of law. This is a really sticky situation.

I'm a woman and as much as I'd like to side with the victim in this case, even say the warrant should have been ignored, there've been more than one high profile cases recently where men's lives have been destroyed because accusations were treated like convictions, and investigations get so fucked up when people try to make their own judgment calls. It sucks, it seems cold, harsh, and insensitive, but the criminal justice and legal system should always remain as objective as possible, going both ways.



Yes, but it's not really their call. Patrol officers have a duty to follow through on these warrants. They're not sex crimes detectives and not working for the DA, so they simply don't have the power to decide that a) a rape did in fact exist and b) the warrant should be ignored. Again, I'm not saying I agree with how the situation was handled, or that they couldn't have treated her with a bit more dignity, but imagine what precedent it would set if people get off the hook when something traumatic occurs.

I'm glad they are changing their arrest policies. It's sad this had to happen to the victim in order for that to happen.

My biggest issue here is a jail worker denying her the morning after pill. Even if it's against his/her (idiotic) religious convictions, the pill is standard rape kit procedure. Why would you work, or be allowed to work, for the criminal justice system if you had objections to basic procedures?!
it's not the police officer's job to be judge and jury.

this is a truly awful situation, and i wouldn't have faulted the police if they had let her go, but i can't fault them for putting her in jail either... just because you are now a victim of a crime, as heinous and awful of a crime it may be, does not mean that you are now off the hook for crimes you may have committed in the past, as petty as they may be.

and even if a judge wants to throw the petty crime out, that's the judge's decision... not the police officer's.

as for not getting the second pill, whoever refused that should be seriously reprimanded. that's BS. that's complete contradiction to my first argument... it's not the cop's job to judge. the treatment is legal and she should have been given the pills.
__________________

__________________
Headache in a Suitcase is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:49 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com