Revolution #235, June 12, 2011

In the Wake of the Acquittal
of NYPD Pigs on Rape Charges


For weeks the trial had been in the news. While the victim did not remember all the details, important facts were not in dispute. Some time after midnight on December 7, 2008, a cab driver called the New York City police to escort an intoxicated woman passenger from his cab to her apartment building. The woman was a 29-year-old fashion executive coming home from a celebration of her recent promotion.

Two NYPD officers, Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata, were recorded on a security video system taking the woman to her apartment. Over the course of the next four hours the two officers entered her apartment three more times, using her keys. They spent a total of 97 minutes in the building. Moreno admitted that he “flirted” with her, “snuggled” beside her in bed while she wore only a bra, kissed her head, and sang to her. The cops fabricated 911 calls and police records to cover their trips back to the neighborhood and the apartment.

Prosecutors arranged for the woman to confront Moreno outside his precinct with a concealed recorder. At first he insisted that nothing had happened, before he then admitted that he had “used a condom.” He also told her that he had asked her that night if she had a “boyfriend” and offered to be her “boyfriend.”

The woman’s hospital medical report described bruising of her cervix. The Gothamist, a widely read New York City news and culture website, reported that “a nurse who examined the report testified that the bruising to the accuser’s cervix was ‘consistent with something coming into contact with her cervix when she is lying on her stomach.’” The defense claimed that the contusion could have been caused by overly vigorous scrubbing in the shower. Such an offensively misleading scenario can only be credible on the basis of widespread ignorance and demeaning of basic female anatomy. The cervix is not on the body’s surface. It is the opening to a woman’s uterus and is only reached with penetration into the vagina. The Gothamist continues: “During her testimony, the accuser told the jury, ‘I woke up because the action of him penetrating me was so hard, that my head was moving so hard against my window that I thought I was going to go through it.’”

Two and a half years later, on May 26, the two NYPD officers were acquitted on rape and burglary charges. They were convicted only of misdemeanor counts of official misconduct for returning to the woman’s apartment while they were supposed to be on patrol.

One of the jurors, Melinda Hernandez, chose to speak out in an interview with WeNews, a website that covers issues of significance to women. She was one of three jurors who believed that the cops were guilty but ended up voting to acquit after six days of deliberations. She says, “I think the system failed her big-time” because the crime scene evidence collected from the apartment was sent to the New York Police Department laboratory. The lab reported the implausible finding of NO traces of the police presence in the apartment at all.

This case bared raw truths about the position of women and the brutal reality of rape in this society, and the social relations among people that are enforced by the police and the courts.

Until the 1970s, marital rape was not even recognized as a crime in the U.S. or most of the world – a husband had the legal right to rape his wife because she was his property to do with as he wished. While this is no longer part of official law in the U.S., the grip of thousands of years of tradition is entwined with the modern-day brutal reality of women’s less-than-human position as property and sex object.

One in three women in this country is sexually assaulted in her lifetime. One in four women in college is raped or assaulted during her campus years. The great majority of rapes are never reported, and the majority of those reported are never prosecuted.

We refuse to live this way! We are building a movement for revolution that does not tolerate this and will involve all of society in transforming all of it.

The liberation of women is a powerful component of this most radical, communist all-the-way revolution to emancipate all of humanity.

Get with the real revolution!


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