D.C. Police, Human Rights Watch Dispute Sex Assault Report


Washington, D.C., Police Chief Cathy Lanier has asked federal authorities to review the city's handling of sexual-assault reports after a human rights group complained that detectives in recent years failed to conduct investigations in many cases and routinely behaved “in a dismissive or insensitive manner” toward alleged victims, reports the Washington post. Human Rights Watch said that after researching cases dating as far back as 2006, it intended to publish a study criticizing the way D.C. police deal with reports of sexual assault involving adults later this month.

The group summarized its study in a May 30 letter to Lanier, who disputed the findings and asked the Justice Department to conduct a review “as an impartial third party.” She sent her request to the Justice Department's civil rights division. On Thursday, Lanier met with the study's author, Human Rights Watch lawyer Sara Darehshori. Lanier agreed to make additional departmental files covering sex assault cases available to Darehshori. Darehshori said her group will publish its report after seeing the files.

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