City Gives Council Vague Update On Thousands Of Untested Rape Kits

Posted on: 6:20 pm, January 21, 2014, by

(Memphis) While rapists may run free and victims continue looking for justice, the city of Memphis is asking the victims to trust them in handling the testing of thousands of untouched rape evidence kits.

This comes after the city betrayed rape victims trust for three decades.

Memphis City Council members asked for a monthly update on progress in getting DNA tests done on thousands of untested rape kits dating back 30 years.

Tuesday was the day for that update, but because of a pending lawsuit, council members got a very vague presentation, leaving them with more questions and fewer answers.

Here’s what we know. According to the city, 2,226 of the more than 12,000 previously untested rape kits have now been tested since WREG News Channel 3 broke the story of their existence.

Memphis chief administrative officer George Little offered that information to city council members, but that’s about it.

“Basically you can’t go back is basically what we’re asking because that would prejudice the city’s position in the litigation,” said Little.

Memphis police director Toney Armstrong didn’t answer any questions about rape kits or make a statement.

Councilman Shea Flinn isn’t keen on the fact these updates will be mostly private between attorneys and council members.

“I don’t much care about that lawsuit as much as I do this issue holistically so I want to continue the pressure,” said Flinn.

Council member like Wanda Halbert say they need answers to all these questions so they know what to plan for in the budget.

“We haven’t even heard the real issues and financial distresses of city government itself,” said Halbert.

Little did tell council members he is headed to Nashville Wednesday to ask the state for $2 million more dollars to test more kits, but when News Channel 3 asked how many of the remaining 10,000 that would cover, we still got vague answers.

“I can’t really say. We’re going to try to get a better deal on the pricing,” said Little.

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