Joyful Heart in the News

Memphis Police official says rape kit backlog is shrinking

July 15, 2014
The Commercial Appeal
Daniel Connolly

Memphis Deputy Police Chief Jim Harvey said last year that when officials first started working to clear a backlog of thousands of rape kits, they found records in disarray.

On Tuesday, Harvey told Memphis City Council members that workers have conducted painstaking research, including reviews of microfilm, and concluded that hundreds of the roughly 12,000 rape kits that the city possesses already have gone through at least some forensic testing. That shrinks the backlog.

With the discovery of prior testing, the Police Department raised its tally of kits tested for DNA from 75 in May to 475 in June. The discovery also led MPD to increase its count of kits for which there wasn’t enough DNA for full testing from a small number in May to 1,185 in June.

An additional 2,495 kits remained at forensic labs, and 5,553 remained untested.


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