The #MeToo movement is about believing women when it comes to the prejudice and harassment they suffer, often with no consequences for the perpetrators. Unfortunately, Victim/Suspect It shows that there is still a long way to go as far as the feminist crusade has come, especially on the issue of rape and the police officers tasked with taking charges seriously and treating victims fairly and with compassion.
A portrait of the tireless efforts of Rachel de Leon, a journalist working with The Center for Investigative Reporting, Victim/Suspect A look at a disturbing phenomenon (after its May 23 premiere on Netflix, at the Sundance Film Festival in January): accusing young women of making false reports of rape, a crime that could result in sentences of up to one year in prison. Motivated by several of these stories, de Leon begins to understand how people claiming to have been violated become targets of law enforcement seeking help. What he has found appears to be a pervasive problem of bias and flawed interrogation tactics, all built on an ugly foundation of sexism, as detailed in Nancy Schwartzman’s documentary.
Victim/Suspect It’s a film about a police culture that doesn’t take rape charges seriously, or at least thinks it’s not worth the effort to delve deeper into the charges while making their job of intimidation and humiliation easier. De Leon’s sleuthing focuses on a group of young women who report to local cops that they have been raped, but are soon handcuffed, fingerprinted, and accused as swindlers trying to ruin the lives of innocent men in TV newscasts and online Facebook pages. waste valuable public resources in the process. What De Leon learned was that these cases of cheating were actually examples of shoddy (if not deliberately reprehensible) behavior that was offensive to detectives.
De Leon’s curiosity was first sparked by the trial of Nikki Yovino, who alleged that two football players from Sacred Heart University had raped her in the bathroom. He was later accused of making a false accusation – in a national headline scandal – and sentenced to one year in prison for his alleged false report and an additional five years for requesting a rape kit review. De Leon quickly learned an eerily similar story in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Both women have now professed their innocence even though they have formally retracted their allegations – this is the crux of the law enforcement case against them.
There are legitimate examples of unsubstantiated rape accusations, as the infamous 2006 Duke lacrosse case made clear. Despite everything, Victim/Suspect He convincingly argues that law enforcement also act in a highly suspicious manner when faced with such contention. For example, in the Mannion case, law enforcement hid video evidence that directly corroborated his narrative. Worse, in their first conversation with Mannion in the interrogation room, they said they had security footage of him making love to the attacker and willingly getting into a car with him – this claim, after de Leon received the footage (through a lawsuit!), is a complete and utter lie. proven to be.
The most exciting aspect Victim/Suspect It is a disclosure that police officers are allowed to lie in these circumstances (what they call “cheating”), while also being encouraged to do so in order to gauge the reactions of individuals and reveal the truth. De Leon’s investigation shows that officers therefore create instant suspicion and fear in victims, especially if they do not remember every detail of the attack in question – due to the after effects of excessive alcohol or trauma. Schwartzman’s film argues that such is the case with Megan Rondini, who in 2015 accused TJ Bunn Jr. (who comes from a prominent local family) of rape and then was accused of stealing from her for taking money from her for a post-attack taxi. Video from the interrogation room (the room in which Mannion found himself) makes the big difference between the cops’ handling of Rondini and Bunn Jr. clear. bullying as a cause.
Based on De Leon’s reports, Victim/Suspect It reveals the many subtle ways in which cops convey that rape victims are unreliable, mistaking them for lies, and then citing the “inconsistencies” that frighten women (who were already stunned by their attacks) that they can’t be trusted. The nightmare ends – at which point they themselves are arrested. Of the 52 similar cases that De Leon discovered, 35 mentioned “inconsistencies”, 32 victims retracted their word, and 15 women were arrested within 24 hours. What has emerged is the victim-to-offender model because it is a faster and easier method of closing cases. The fact that Detective Walberto Cotto Jr. hasn’t even once questioned the men Yovino identified as his aggressors—despite someone being accused of rape a month ago, which Cotto didn’t know about!—is talking damning about the officers’ priorities in these situations. .
It supports the saga of Dyanie Bermeo, a college student who was attacked by a man posing as a cop during a traffic stop and was later arrested (a conviction she eventually overturned) for making a false accusation. Victim/SuspectThe view that misogynistic prejudice and laziness often force cops to blame the victim. It’s clear that De Leon’s reporting is just an opening salvo in a fight that requires additional work; As he himself admitted, part of the motivation for his research was a lack of serious journalism on the subject. Still, Schwartzman’s film, along with the candid testimonies of Mannion and Bermeo, is Dr. With comments from experts like Lisa Avalos and former San Diego Police Department officer Carl Hershman (whose latter now trains officers to properly interview victims), it’s depressing and damning about a system that’s been set under the harshest spotlight in favor of those who should be and at the expense of those who need it most. insight.