Report on DC police's handling of sex assault complaints present - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Report on DC police's handling of sex assault complaints presented to DC Council

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A report on the D.C. police department's handling of sexual assault complaints has been presented before the D.C. Council.

Lawyers from the law firm of Crowell & Moring said Thursday that they conducted an exhaustive investigation on how sex crimes are investigated in the nation's capital.

The firm was selected by the Council after an earlier report from Human Rights Watch that said sex assault complaints are often poorly investigated by D.C. police detectives.

The law firm says that though the Human Rights Watch report provided a scathing critique, the reality is more nuanced and the organization's methodology was flawed.

Still, the firm does make several recommendations, including the appointment of an outside expert to ensure policies are being implemented correctly.

By ERIC TUCKER Associated Press

Statement of Chief Cathy L. Lanier regarding the Human Rights Watch Report on the Handling of Sexual Assault Investigations by MPD:

(Washington, DC) - "I am pleased that after an extensive independent review, representatives from Crowell & Moring have reinforced our conclusions about the HRW report," said Cathy L. Lanier, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

"Crowell & Moring's findings mirrored our own. HRW's report was based on a flawed methodology and written in such a way - such as omitting key facts favorable to the Department or repeating the concerns of eight victims more than 100 times to create the impression of many more complaints - as to present a deliberate bias against the department."

"Over the past five years, MPD and the District's entire criminal justice and victims' services system have been working together to improve the response of our investigation of sexual assaults. I appreciate that Crowell & Moring acknowledged not only the reforms that the Department began implementing in 2008, but also our receptiveness to later recommendations from HRW."

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