MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — City leaders revealed Friday the number of untested rape kits in the department’s backlog is nearly 10 times what was originally reported.
Since last year, state law has mandated untested kits be sent in for analysis and a 2015 audit revealed 194 of those in Minneapolis. This summer, the Minneapolis Police Department Sex Crimes Unit discovered that figure wasn’t right.READ MORE: Pedestrian Struck, Killed In 2-Vehicle Crash In Crystal; Distraction May Have Been A Factor
“They discovered that number was actually inaccurate. Right now, what I am reporting today, is that number is around 1,700,” Chief Medaria Arradondo said.
The city is now pledging to have every one of those kits tested to ensure this never happens again.
“There’s a lot of value in that and we owe it to victims,” MPD Deputy Chief Erick Fors said.
Earlier this year, the MPD discovered an unjustifiable mistake made in 2015.
— Jacob Frey (@Jacob_Frey) November 15, 2019
“We will move heaven and earth to honor the courage in pursuit of justice,” Mayor Jacob Frey said.READ MORE: Tyrone Maddox Charged With Murder In Shooting Of Woman In North Minneapolis
WCCO-TV Reporter Mary McGuire asked Police Chief Medaria Arradondo about how this miscalculation could have happened.
“I’m trying to get those answers. As I stand before you today, I don’t have the ‘why’”, Arradondo said.
Survivor advocate Abby Honold says she has been hearing about the issue of untested kits for years.
“While it doesn’t surprise me, of course, it is very frustrating,” Honold said. “It’s a sinking, awful feeling knowing that people are going to be getting those phone calls. They are going to have to deal with the fact of knowing, all these years later, that their kit was never tested … that they never had a chance in the first place.”
Since this error was discovered, approximately 60 of the backlogged rape kits have been sent to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for testing.
The Minneapolis Police Department estimates it could be up to two years before all of the 1,700 have analysis completed. The current average processing time for the BCA for testing kits is 90 days. Once testing is completed, the kit is returned to the agency that submitted it.
Retired Minneapolis Police Lieutenant Mike Sauro was in charge of the sex crimes unit in 2015 and personally supervised the study of the untested kits. He refutes the 1,700 number given by the department and doesn’t believe it is accurate.MORE NEWS: Stimulus Check Latest: When Could You See Another Economic Relief Payment?
Under the department’s new sexual assault policy, all unrestricted kits must be and will be tested within 60 days of receipt.