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Woman Raped on the Street in French Quarter, Police Unresponsive as Bystander Pleads for Them To Help Victim

by Jo Ellen Nott

On the night of July 26, 2022, an unconscious Black female was raped on the corner of Toulouse and Royal in New Orleans’ French Quarter. A visitor to the city witnessed the sexual violence and called 911 after a deputy constable on the street did nothing to help the victim.

As the rape was happening and the female tourist was on the phone with 911, a New Orleans Police Department squad car drove by and did not stop. In audio recordings from the 911 call, she can be heard talking to the deputy constable, with no response.

The woman caller became frantic as the six-minute call went on, and she realized no officer in the vicinity was going to help.  The woman, known as Cuter Looter on Twitter, considered dealing with the rapist herself: “I probably should fucking walk up there. Like, this poor girl. I mean, I am going to get up there faster than this fucking cop is,” the 911 call recording reports. “The police officer hasn’t even moved. He’s still just parked here. What the fuck? What the fuck are y’all doing?”

According to Constable of Second City Court Edwin Shorty, the officer who did not act when approached by the Good Samaritan has been suspended without pay and is under investigation.  The deputy constable was working on an approved security detail for a film production at the time of his refusal to help the rape victim.

Deputy constables in New Orleans are trained, uniformed law enforcement officers who carry guns and badges. They typically work eviction notices and serve papers for small claims courts but do have the power to arrest people. 

New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Shaun Ferguson defended the officers in the patrol car that passed by the scene saying it was not clear that they even saw what was happening. Ferguson told the press, “No one waved the vehicle down or flagged the vehicle down to draw the officers’ attention to that particular incident.”

The rapist fled before officers with the New Orleans Police Department arrived at 11:24 p.m., three minutes after the emergency call was logged into the system, Ferguson added.

The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, reports that out of every 1,000 sexual assaults, just 310 are reported to police. Of those 310, only 50 lead to an arrest, and of those 50, only 28 result in a felony conviction.  

A Bowling Green State University study suggests that law enforcement officers sexually assault people much more than the public thinks. The 2020 study identified 669 cases of police sexual violence between 2005 and 2012.

Sources: Vice News, Washington Post 

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