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Police officer to groped woman: “These things happen”

In News stories | on 01.02.12 | by | Comments ( 1 )

Via New York Times:

“Jill Korber walked into a drab police station in Queens in July to report that a passing bicyclist had groped her two days in a row. She left in tears, frustrated, she said, by the response of the first officer she encountered.

“He told me it would be a waste of time, because I didn’t know who the guy was or where he worked or anything,” said Ms. Korber, 34, a schoolteacher. “His words to me were, ‘These things happen.’ He said those words.”

Crime victims in New York sometimes struggle to persuade the police to write down what happened on an official report. The reasons are varied. Police officers are often busy, and few relish paperwork. But in interviews, more than half a dozen police officers, detectives and commanders also cited departmental pressure to keep crime statistics low.

While it is difficult to say how often crime complaints are not officially recorded, the Police Department is conscious of the potential problem, trying to ferret out unreported crimes through audits of emergency calls and of any resulting paperwork.


In the case of Ms. Korber, the police did eventually take a report of her being groped, but only after her city councilman, Peter F. Vallone Jr., intervened, she and Mr. Vallone said. In fact, Mr. Vallone said that he had grown so alarmed over how many women were being groped in his district that he contacted the 114th Precinct; his staff then asked Ms. Korber to go there again.”

Of all of the forms of street harassment that women face, groping is one form that is illegal everywhere – it’s assault! So this news that NYPD is regularly not doing anything about it when women report it is very, very frustrating. Especially because during 2011 there were multiple serial gropers in New York City, and many other New Yorkers shared stories about men who groped them in the streets.

Because so many police officers respond this way, plus the fact that some police officers are harassers, makes many people take matters into their own hands, they choose to fight back or create a community response to street harassment.

But street harassment, including groping, is a serious problem. Groping is a crime. The police need to respond appropriately, otherwise, what’s the point of having a police force? Come on, NYPD, you can do better.

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One Response


There are some cases when there is not enough evidence. But the police should not say that it’s a “waste of time” or that “these things happen”. Of course these things happen. It happened, and isn’t that why the police exist?

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