"False Reporting" Law Entraps Woman; Rapist Officers Barnes, Gillies Go Free
What if you were raped and no one believed you? Now--what if you were raped by the police? What if their superiors failed to investigate the crime? What if instead of punishing the rapists, they charged you with the crime of lying about police "misconduct"?
This is what happened to Camille Williams, a black Twin Cities woman.** Raped by Minneapolis Police Officers Paul Gillies and Miquel Barnes almost two years ago, Williams was subsequently charged with the crime of falsely reporting police misconduct--a charge levied so that, audio recordings tell, the MPD could avoid a civil lawsuit. After a two and a half week trial, Williams was found guilty by a 6-person Hennepin County jury on Monday, despite allegations of jury misconduct (including one juror sleeping during the trial). On Tuesday, when Williams was scheduled to be sentenced, the defense successfully argued for a postponement until August 14 based on several pending motions aimed at overturning the decision.
"I didn't lie about a damn thing and here I am, accused of a crime!" Williams says. Gillies and Barnes, meanwhile, continue to walk the beat.
**Although the rape survivor's name has been reported by corporate media outlets, we are changing it here, even though the callous disregard for survivors of sexual assault (whether proven in the courts of the perpetrator or not) by uncritical pro-police media has already resulted in harm. Also: Note that the article below may trigger strong and difficult emotions/memories, especially for survivors and others affected by sexual assault and police brutality.
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