L.A. Eliminates Big Backlog Of Untested Rape Kits


After 2 1/2 years chipping away at a backlog of DNA evidence that had been collected in thousands of rape cases and then was ignored, Los Angeles officials announced that all of the potentially crucial material had been analyzed, says the Los Angeles Times. In late 2008, then-police chief William Bratton acknowledged that more than 6,000 pieces of DNA evidence had sat untouched in LAPD storage freezers — some for longer than a decade — as the department’s badly understaffed lab fell far behind on the workload.

Police officials cobbled together several million dollars in federal grants, public funds. and private donations to cover the costs of outsourcing the testing to private labs. The mayor and police officials also pressed the City Council for permission to set aside funds to add more analysts to the LAPD’s lab despite a citywide hiring freeze. Current Chief Charlie Beck he did not know how many new identifications and arrests have been made because of the backlog testing, but put the total in the “dozens.”

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