After she finishes giving you the details,
she adds, "I may be a prostitute, but I'm
not stupid.  I know what he did is against
the law."  Again, she holds up the cup
and says, "I know about DNA, too."  You
ask her if she'd been inside the station to
report the crime?  Here's where you start
to become irritated.  She tells you she
initially tried to report the crime to
officers inside the station.  She claims
that the officers only laughed at her,
before they ordered her to leave the
station or be "locked up."  

You leave the victim with your two real
detectives as you go inside to locate the
shift commander.  The lieutenant is off,
but you locate the sergeant who is the
acting shift commander.  As you begin to
tell the sergeant about the woman on the
parking lot, the sergeant cuts you
off…with laughter.  "Yeah, that goofy
whore came in here claiming that some
police officer raped her."  As the
sergeant's laughter trails off, you reply,
"Sergeant…you're telling me that a
woman comes into the station and tells
you she's been sexually assaulted by a
police officer, and your response is to
laugh at her and call her a goofy whore.  
Is that what you're telling me,
Sergeant?"  Well, you can imagine how
the sergeant feels at this moment.

This is an extreme, but one excellent
example of victim classification.  In this
incident, the victim was not assaulted by
a police officer.  The suspect was
impersonating a police officer, but how
much does that matter to the victim who
sincerely believed the suspect was a
police officer.  Further, her initial
treatment by real police officers could
only reaffirm her initial belief.  
Unfortunately, people are sometimes
victimized by real police officers, so think
of the harm that's done when real cops
help to instill the image of criminal cops
by ignoring and ridiculing a victim just
because, as in this case, she doesn't fit
their idea of a victim worthy of their

You're going to come into contact with all
kinds of victims.  The sexual assault
victim can be a particularly difficult victim
with which to deal.  She may insult you,
irritate you, and lie to you.  None of
these negative circumstances mean that
a crime has not occurred.  Sexual assault
victims will frequently lie about certain
aspects of the incident, because they
believe that their own conduct may have
contributed, or may be viewed as having
contributed, to the actual crime.  You'll
experience victims of all types lying to
you for the same reason, so why should
a sexual assault victim be any different.

What makes this true story - yes, I was
the lieutenant described - so over the
top is that the victim was totally truthful,
because she was so angry that she'd
been, as she believed, victimized by a
police officer.  There's another thing to
be learned from this incident.  While it's
obvious to you that law abiding citizens
expect a police officer to possess a high
level of integrity, now you know that
people involved in criminal conduct expect
it as well.  And…why shouldn't they?  It's
what separates you from them.
When it comes to sex crimes and victims,
police officers can sometimes totally lose
sight of reality.

This time, imagine that you're a police
lieutenant.  You're returning to the
station at the end of a 4pm to midnight
shift in an unmarked police car. You're in
company with two of your detectives,
and all three of you are wearing
plainclothes.  You're a white male, and
both of your detectives are black males.

As you arrive on the parking lot, the
shifts are changing, so there's a lot of
activity.  As you prepare to get out of
the car, all three of you notice a young
black woman standing near the station's
back entrance.  She's holding a plastic
cup in her hand, and she's looking
intently at certain male officers as they
exit the building.  Every time she sees a
black male in plainclothes, she rushes up
to him and stares directly into his face.  
She pretty much ignores everyone else.
Just as the three of you are commenting
on her movements, she spots you and
the detectives sitting in your car.  She
rushes over to the driver's side of the
car, and she puts her face close to the
window and stares at the detective who's
sitting behind the steering wheel.  After a
few seconds, she shifts her position and
looks through the rear passenger door
window.  She stares at the detective
sitting in the back seat.  Without saying
a word, she walks back toward the
entrance, and resumes her obvious
search.  The only thing obvious to you is
that she's looking for a particular black
male police officer, because she totally
ignores you and other white male police
officers on the parking lot.

Another thing you notice is that none of
the police officers, black or white, stop to
question the woman regarding her
actions.  You get out of your car, and
you walk over to the woman.  You
identify yourself, and you ask the woman
if you can help her.  She responds to you
by saying, "I'm looking for that [expletive
deleted] police officer who raped me."  As
you're comprehending what she just said
to you, she raises her hand holding the
plastic cup and shouts, "And, I got the
evidence to prove it!"  As she pushes the
cup toward you, you back away.  You
quickly realize that you don't want to
come into contact with the contents of
that cup.

As you continue to speak calmly to the
woman, she calms down.  She then
begins to describe the earlier events of
the evening that ultimately lead her to
the police station parking lot.  The young
woman is a street prostitute.  About two
hours earlier, she was standing outside a
neighborhood bar drinking a soda…from
the plastic cup mentioned.  She was
approached by a black man who solicited
her for a sex act.  After agreeing on a
money amount, she began walking with
the man to his car.  As they passed the
alley next to the bar, the man grabbed
her and roughly pushed her into the
alley.  As she stumbled into the alley, he
grabbed her again, and pushed her
against the wall.  He made her stand with
her palms on the wall as he conducted a
frisk.  When he finished frisking her, he
spun her around and held a badge in
front of her face.  He identified himself as
a police officer as he quickly pulled the
badge away and put it in his pocket.

You can probably guess what came
next.  He gives her a choice.  She either
performs a sex act on him, or he arrests
her and charges her with prostitution.  
The woman agrees, and the man pushes
her to her knees.  Immediately after the
completion of the act, the man zips up,
and he's gone.  The young woman picks
up her soda cup, which she'd dropped
when he first pushed her into the alley,
and she spits the man's semen into the

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"While it's obvious to you that law
abiding citizens expect a police officer
to possess a high level of integrity,
now you know that people involved
in criminal conduct expect it as well.  
And…why shouldn't they?  It's what
separates you from them."
~ Barry M. Baker
Copyright © 2018  Barry M. Baker