Council Members Want Answers On Rape Kit Issue
(Memphis) City council members held little back when questioning police director Toney Armstrong on how the city got into a problem of thousands of untested rape kits.
They demanded much more than a plan to finally test rape kits sitting on police department shelves untouched.
“I’ve been waiting 25 years for answers and my main question has been what happened to my kit? What did y’all do with it?” asked Terry Aldridge, a rape survivor.
There are at least 7,000 others just like her.
Tuesday night, council members said someone should get locked up for what people like Aldridge went through, and wanted to make sure legal avenues were pursued.
Council members still gave the police $1.5 million to test rape kits and build a storage facility to properly handle them.
Council member Lee Harris was reluctant, saying, “Our storage capability is probably what led to the problem. If we didn’t store rape kids maybe we would have tested rape kits.”
But Armstrong insisted the facility was necessary to sort through the evidence and prevent this type of thing from happening again.
“If we delay this, all we’re going to do is inhibit our ability to catch rapists,” said council member Kemp Conrad.
Council members approved the funding, but with a stern warning that the police department failed, and its trust has been eroded.
“The people who arrest the people who do wrong, were doing wrong. Its offensive were supposed to trust the police,” added council member Wanda Halbert.