Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Justice Off The Rails

I normally avoid individual tales of woe as too many people will conflate these incidents to indictments of whole systems. However, this one is the ridiculous exception.

A 21 year old Tampa woman was alledgedly raped during Gaspirilla. When she finally found a police officer, he ran a routine check and discovered the woman had outstanding warrants. Instead of continuing to the crime scene to further the investigation, the woman was cuffed and immediately taken to jail. Although the woman had received an examination by a nurse at a clinic, she was never taken to the hospital for a proper medical evaluation. While in jail, a guard with "religious" objections alledgedly refused the required second dose of the "morning after pill".

The young woman claims she believed the warrants had been satisfied. A convenient excuse? Well, I personally know someone who was carted off to jail following a routine traffic stop. His crime was idiotically forgetting to pay a parking ticket. It happens.

However, there is no excuse for the further traumatizing of this woman over some unpaid fines. There had better be an investigation. Are you listening Tampa? We will be watching.

UPDATE: Tampa officials have apologized. Good first step. But only the first.

UPDATE II: Tampa's Weekly Planet (for you Atlanta folks, it's their version of Creative Loafing) blog Blurbex has a further update. Tampa's police Stephen Hogue has updated policy to require in the case of assault a shift commander weigh all circumstances involving the assault before exercising action on any outstanding warrants. He has also initiated an investigation into the allegation the young woman was denied the morning after pill while in jail. Swift action. Good job Chief Hogue.


Anonymous said...

That is a complete travesty! Unfortunately, that sort of thing happens a lot. A friend of mine was knocked off his motorcycle by someone making an illegal turn, and the cops wouldn't let him get in the ambulance until they'd given him a breathalyzer test.

What happened to that poor woman is much worse, obviously, but it reflects the same idiotic mentality.

Pokerista said...

I don't understand why the cops would run a potential rape victim's name to see if she had any warrants. There is simply no reason to do that immediately, rather than doing ANYTHING to deal with the potential rape she is reporting.

Ugh. I hate Florida.