Work Continues to Clean Up New Orleans PD Sex Squad Lapses


The New Orleans Police Department continues to investigate allegations that five detectives routinely failed to follow up on hundreds of sex-crime and child-abuse cases over several years, reports The Lens. Deputy Chief Arlinda Westbrook told a city council committee Wednesday that the investigation has turned up evidence of policy violations, including neglect of duty and inadequate documentation, by the five detectives: Akron Davis, Merrill Merricks, Derrick Williams, Damita Williams and Vernon Haynes.

The detectives are on desk duty until the internal review is complete. None of them has been charged criminally, and a police union official has blamed the scandal on understaffing. Westbrook said supervisors of the detectives are now also under investigation. The city's Office of Inspector General revealed in November that the detectives had done little or nothing to investigate nearly 90 percent of the 1,290 cases assigned to them. A task force re-investigation of many of the cases is underway. In 47 cases reviewed so far, two arrest warrants have been issued and four other crimes are under a prosecutor’s review.

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