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Oklahoma Governor: Police Not Complying With Executive Order to Audit Untested Rape Kits

Backlog Untested Rape Kits Police Refusing to Comply Audit Order

The massive backlog of untested rape kits sitting in evidence rooms across the country totals anywhere from tens to hundreds of thousands in number.

Last week, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin stated that only about half of the police departments in the state were complying with an executive order she issued in April instructing them to perform an audit of all untested rape kits. To be clear, the order wasn’t to complete the testing of the thousands that are sitting in evidence rooms throughout the state. In fact, it wasn’t even actually to begin testing them. It was simply to perform an inventory and determine just how many of them there are.

For many of those departments, though, the deadline of December 31, 2017 has come and gone. A lieutenant at the El Reno Police Department who states that they did do the audit but it somehow slipped his mind to send the information in. Meanwhile, according to “News9.com” Sgt. Jillian Phippen of the Tulsa Police Department maintains that they just don’t have the personnel or money to do it.

“For us, to do that, to comply with this unfunded mandate, it’s just a lot of money,” said Sgt. Phippen. “We’re already putting my sex crimes detectives back into the field to work patrol positions, so it’s not like we just have extra individuals that can stop what they’re doing and then complete this audit.”

It’s kinda obvious where the priorities of police department are when  one representative states that he “just forgot” to provide the information and the other says that their department has their rape investigators out generating revenue by writing tickets, instead of solving sex crimes.

For her part, Governor Fallin, who has now given them until Feb. 15th to comply, doesn’t seem terribly worried about the fact that thousands of rapists are walking the streets and potentially victimizing other women, when they could have been caught long ago. She “isn’t happy with the lack of cooperation she is getting from law enforcement.” However, she seems to be willing to afford them the benefit of the doubt that they (eventually) will.

“That’s not enough.” Governor Fallin said. “We need to do better and I think everybody’s certainly willing to step up and do it but we need to finish the job.”

Rape survivors, such as Danielle Tudor, aren’t quite so patient, though:

Tudor says that’s not acceptable.

“What is says to me as a rape survivor and unfortunately what it says to future sexual assault victims is, ‘Is it worth it to report it? Is it worth it to have that rape kit done because I have no guarantee that my evidence will even be used in my case.'”

News9.com – Oklahoma City, OK – News, Weather, Video and Sports |

A National Issue and a Question of Priorities

It’s a valid concern for victims of rape and other crimes involving sexual assault and it’s not just limited to Oklahoma, either. A 2015 story by USA Today estimated at least 70,000 untested rape kits existed nationwide, based on data obtained through a massive campaign of open records requests. A year earlier, in 2014, the Daily Beast published their own estimate of 400,000 kits that have failed to be tested since the mid 80’s when DNA testing began to be widely used.

Note: If you have videos, stories, upcoming events/protests, or personal interactions with the police (and/or “justice” system) that you would like to share, send them to us and we will do everything we can to bring it to the attention of the world. In addition, you can visit the Nevada Cop Block resources section for information and links to the rights of citizens when dealing with police, during which you should always be filming.

Police Need to Take Rape Seriously

Police Don’t

While it’s a handy excuse to ignore things the police don’t really want to be bothered with the “lack of funding” doesn’t really hold up to scrutiny. Early last week, I posted about former LVMPD Police Officer Arthur Lee Sewall Jr.,who was (finally charged with rape and murder twenty years after the crime was committed.

In spite of the fact investigators suspected Sewall literally from day one of their investigation in 1997, the victim’s rape kit wasn’t processed until 2017. Prosecutors supposedly couldn’t find the money to process a rape kit in a case where they already had a suspect, that suspect had a previous history of sex crimes, and they already had access to his DNA profile.

Meanwhile, the LVMPD and the City of Las Vegas managed to scrape together over a half billion dollars between them to build a new police headquarters and city hall. Just for good measure the nearby suburb of North Las Vegas also built new fancy building for their police department and city government.

Just as outrageous is the story Joey Lankowski posted here at NVCopBlock.org yesterday. Within it, he detailed how it was recently exposed that Henderson (another Vegas suburb) Police Chief Patrick Moers and his second in command, Deputy Police Chief Bobby Long, were forced to resign as the result of a sexual harassment scandal.

As part of what was originally characterized as a “voluntary separation,” Moers and Long received about $400,000 for accrued vacation hours and benefits. I have very little doubt that that money alone would have funded testing for quite a few of the 4,000+ untested rape kits within Southern Nevada. If not, then the $750 million in public funds the Clark County Commission voted to give the Raiders for a new stadium certainly would.

Are There Other, Worse, Reasons for the Lack of Urgency?

Of course, the reason that there wasn’t a more immediate uproar about Chief Moers’ and Deputy Chief Long’s large payoffs was because the Henderson City Government kept the true reason for their resignations under wraps for months until an anonymous source tipped off the local newspaper.

Similarly, Officer Sewall spent the vast majority of those twenty years violating his probation terms without suffering any significant repercussions. Nor did anyone in a position to do so make much of an effort to get the one rape kit that could confirm what they already suspected was true processed. It’s almost like the respective prosecutors, city governments, and police departments were just not that interested in pursuing the case, if they could avoid it. Almost exactly like that.

(Not to mention the mayor of North Las Vegas, for whom the former NLV police chief admitted having covered up the presence of child porn on his computer and the current number two man in charge at the LVMPD, who once had to resign after he asked a woman to expose herself in exchange for not being arrested.)

It’s no secret that some police have used their position and the vulnerabilities of women they often interact with to pressure or physically force them into performing sex acts. In fact, just three years ago, right there in Oklahoma City, Officer Daniel Holtzclaw was convicted of raping 13 women and had preyed upon numerous more during his time as a police officer.

Experts say that DNA evidence is as high as 99% accurate and has led to the identification of over 1,200 serial rapists in Detroit and Cleveland alone after concerted efforts were made to test the backlogs there. It would seem that Oklahoma, Nevada, and everywhere else would want to do the same, thereby bringing justice to past victims and preventing future ones.

Unless they’re afraid that a certain occupation might pop up a little too often once those tests are conducted…

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Join Nevada Cop Block for the 2nd Annual Chalk the Police Day, Sunday, Sept. 30th

Be a part of the fun and compete for prizes.

It’s that time of year and once again Nevada Cop Block will be participating in CopBlock.org’s “National Chalk the Police Day” festivities. Plus, as an added bonus this year we will also be competing for prizes offered by Cop Block in several categories. In addition, this year we will be doing it at a much more visible and significant location. The original “Chalk the Police Day” action was a national action called for by CopBlock.org as a reaction to the arrest of activists in New Hampshire‘s Free State Project for drawing with chalkon sidewalks around the Manchester police station. The charges consisted mostly of intimidation charges such as “graffiti” (for easily washable drawings) and refusal to provide ID, as well as for passive resistance to those arrests.

Groups and individuals throughout the country, including here in Las Vegas, participated in the first “Chalk the Police Day,” which was largely free of additional incidents and/or arrests. Although this event predated the formation of Cop Block’s local affiliate, several people currently involved in NVCopBlock.org participated in last years’ action, which was held at the headquarters for the UNLV campus police. As with other areas, we were never directly threatened or confronted, although there was a rather large, unnecessary, wasteful and downright silly amount of surveillance conducted during the event.

This year, we’ll be relocating to the newly opened and very expensive headquarters building of LVMPD. Partly this is just based on the simple fact that if you intend to “Chalk the Police” you should go where they hang out. A more important reason is because Metro has been holding press conferences every few weeks all year to announce their latest tally of how far they are over budget, which is no part due to their lavish spending in the past on things such as a giant, shiny new headquarters building.

We’ll have chalk available and suggested “slogans” and “catchphrases” to use, but you will be very free to freelance with your own ideas and artistic desires. In addition to the budget issues, we’re going to emphasize the many instances of police abuse, up to and including beatings and murders of innocent people in the Las Vegas area, as well as the complete lack of accountability that has encouraged such actions by local police. We’ll also bring attention to more national issues involving police crackdowns on chalking by activists, such as recent incidents in the Los Angeles and Oakland areas in which people doing nothing more than drawing with chalk have been arrested, beaten, and even fired at with rubber bullets.

As an added incentive this year, the national Cop Block affiliate will be giving away prizes (free CB merchandise and high quality chalk) within various categories (see below).

The time is still somewhat flexible and may change depending on interested individuals’ availability. If so, this meetup will be updated ASAP. Also unlike most groups we will be doing this on Sunday, Sept. 30, rather than the “official” date of Monday, Oct. 1st to accommodate those who work during the week.

For more complete info (including prizes and categories) check the full announcement on CopBlock.org some of which is included below:

“Attention all chalkers, organizers, and lovers of artful dissent! It’s that time of year again to open up the buckets of chalk and find the nearest location of state repression (aka police stations, courthouses, jails) or other public property such as sidewalks, parks or public plazas at the 2nd Annual Chalk the Police Day.

Over the past year, many chalkers have been detained, harassed arrested, and jailed by authorities across this country. From the Chalking 8 in Manchester to the Chalk Walk Police Riots in LA, chalking continues to be seen as a threat to status quo and despite the temporary nature of chalk, police and local authorities continue to crack down on our right to free expression.

Do you need extra motivation to chalk? This year there is a fun contest with prizes in each of the categories


Best Mural/Chalk Art Design – For the chalk artists who love to draw and can create great murals.

Best Chalk Saying/Slogan – Can’t draw but have a way with words? This category is for you!

Best Location – Chalk the jails? Chalk the steps of city hall? Is there any interesting public property to chalk in your area? We’ll be giving a prize for best location.

Prizes: The best entry in each category will get $66 worth of items from Cop Block’s store. Also, the winner of the Best Mural/Chalk Art Design will receive a Box of Eternity Art High Quality Sidewalk Chalk (you pick up to 35 of your favorite colors!)

Judges: There will be a three “judge” panel with one person each from the East (Kate Ager), Midwest (Melissa Hill), and West Coast (Allan Eaton) that will review the photographs of the chalk and rank them.

You can arrest the chalker but you can’t stop the chalk!”