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Sat Dec 21, 2019, 06:26 AM

In Nome, Alaska, review of rape 'cold cases' hits a wall

Source: Associated Press

In Nome, Alaska, review of rape ‘cold cases’ hits a wall

December 21, 2019

NOME, Alaska (AP) — The two cops — the cold case detective from Virginia and the evidence technician from Alaska — had a mission. Sift through more than a decade of grim stories from this small city set between the Bering Strait and Alaska’s western tundra.

Nome’s new police chief, another Virginia transplant, asked the two to untangle whether the city’s police department had failed hundreds of people — most of them Alaska Native women — who had reported they’d been sexually assaulted.

So they spent weeks inside the police station on the edge of town, squinting at computer screens and stacks of paper. What they found horrified them.

Again and again, the files showed, officers had failed to investigate rapes and other sexual crimes. In some cases, the two cops say, officers had never questioned the suspect.


The two cops had uncovered evidence confirming a pattern of inaction that a local group of sexual assault survivors had been protesting for years — a law enforcement failure that the Alaska chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union recently described as “a systemic, decades-long indifference to the safety of Alaska Native women.”


Read more: https://apnews.com/b6d9f5f6fd71d2b75e3b77ad9a5c0e76

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