Accused NYPD Officers Acquitted of Rape

The latest, and unsurprising, news:


The verdict provides some measure of vindication for the officers, Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata, and brings to an end a criminal case that drew outrage across the city when the officers were indicted in 2009. 

Still, the jury convicted both officers of official misconduct for entering the woman's apartment, but found them not guilty of all other charges, including burglary and falsifying business records. The officers had both admitted to violating their duties on the night in question; Officer Moreno testified that he cuddled with the drunken woman in her bed while she wore nothing but a bra. 

The case presented a formidable challenge for prosecutors: there was no DNA evidence suggesting that either officer had committed a sexual act, and the victim was admittedly drunk and had only a foggy recollection of the night in question.

I understand why the jury didn't convict either officer. With that said, I really, really, really, really hope that neither of these dudes are ever allowed to work in law-enforcement again. When you talk about putting the weight of the state behind people, what these two admitted to strikes me as enough to disqualify them from wielding such power. 

As a society, we have decided to give police officers the overwhelming benefit of the doubt. It seems only right that we not award that benefit to people who fake 911 calls in order to creep into the apartment of a drunk women, all on tax-payer's dollars. 

That strikes me as fair.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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