An awesome collective of grassroots feminist activists have organized a protest today at 5pm. Come join us! If you aren’t able to be there, please sign the petition.
The details, from our press release:
Friday, May 27, 2011 (New York, NY) – Hundreds of New Yorkers will gather at 100 Centre Street, in front of the Manhattan Criminal Court building, to protest the acquittal of two cops who had been on trial for raping a woman.
WHAT: Protest against the acquittal of Officers Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata
WHERE: 100 Centre Street, in front of the Manhattan Criminal Court
New York, NY
WHEN: Friday, May 27, 5pm
· We deserve to be safe. This verdict, and the way the NYPD acted, sends the message that we’re not. “Cuddling” while naked, getting into bed with a woman you are charged to help and putting a woman in a position where she was terrified is never ok. The officers have been fired, which is a good first step, but the NYPD needs to be more vigilant in training its officers and ensuring that there are consequences for breaking the law and violating basic ethical rules.
· No behavior is an invitation to rape. No woman should ever have to worry that having drinks with friends to celebrate a new job will result in a rape, sexual harassment, or assault. And no woman should have to worry that if this does happen, she will have no recourse. Sex with someone who is incapacitated is rape. A sex worker who is raped is raped, and deserves the same care and law enforcement efforts as people who are not sex workers. LGBT and gender-nonconforming people are often targeted for sexual assault and harassment, and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Men can be raped. Rape is rape; “sex with” is the wrong language to use when a perpetrator sexually assaults a passed-out victim. Consent to one form of sex is not consent to all forms of sex.
· This is happening to far too many of us. Every 2 minutes someone in the US is sexually assaulted. 15 out of 16 rapists will never see the inside of a jail cell.
· Police Officers are not above the law. The NYPD has a long history of abuses and violence, sexual and otherwise, especially against people of color and other traditionally disempowered groups. It is unacceptable that the government body charged with protecting us is not held accountable when they break the law.
1. Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly must institute sustained and comprehensive trainings for every incoming class of officers on rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and proper police conduct. A single training session, or a simplistic lecture not to rape, is NOT acceptable.
2. The NYPD must institute a zero-tolerance policy for sexual assault, sexual harassment and sexualized behavior while on the job. While this case illustrates an extreme example of police officers using their power to abuse women, too many of us have witnessed officers behaving in sexually inappropriate ways while on the job. There is no excuse for that behavior, and the police force must take it seriously. We want an easily-accessible reporting mechanism for sexual assault and harassment at the hands of police officers, and a demonstrated commitment to punishing officers who exploit their position to harass and assault the people they are supposed to protect.
3. The NYPD must be accountable to the New Yorkers they serve in a transparent process for implementing the above two demands. They must keep community leaders, local politicians and New York City residents informed about the initiatives they institute, and how they are working to make sure that an incident similar to the one involving former officers Mata and Moreno does not happen again.