Police-related sexual assualt continues to go unreported

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Two former Los Angeles police officers have been charged with sexual assault while on duty, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The LA Times said the charges include “ forcible rape, rape under color of authority and oral copulation under the color authority.”

This is not an isolated incident. In January, an Oklahoma City police officer was found guilty of rape and sexual assault while on duty, resulting in a sentence of 263 years in prison.

These types of attacks happen across the country. Miami, Florida, Houston, Texas. New Orleans, Louisiana. The list goes on, and most of the cases have multiple counts against them for multiple incidents. Many of them occurred during traffic stops.

Victims of police-related sexual assaults are in situation where their assaulters are less likely to ever be investigated because they are the investigators themselves.

Officers are also more likely to get away with sexual crimes because their victims have a record that makes them seem less credible, often coming from backgrounds in sex work, are under the influence or coming from low-income areas.

Sixty percent of all sexual assaults go unreported and only 3 percent of rapists actually see jail time, according to the United States Department of Justice. With the added anxiety of having to go to the police to report an officer, victims are less likely to report than in any other sexual assault case.

Situations like these remind us that police conduct in the United States has more critiques than just race-related gun violence (though in some cases, guns were used and officers targeted non-white women). It seems everyone has something to fear when getting pulled over, unless you’re a white, middle-to-upper-class male.

Body cameras on police officers would solve or put to rest most police issues, at least giving concrete evidence to every case where there is any question.

The bigger problem is actually getting the officers through the prosecution process, but biases in the court systems prevent officers who have evidence against them from serving an adequate sentence.

The entire United States justice system needs a makeover, so the police force can be held accountable for its intended purpose: to serve and protect.

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