Deputy constable resigns after ignoring French Quarter rape witness, officials say
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A deputy constable accused of not responding to an alleged rape in the French Quarter has resigned just one week after an internal investigation was launched.
A 911 recording obtained by FOX 8 details the moments a woman reported a rape at the corner of Toulouse and Royal streets just after 11 p.m. on July 26. She is heard telling a dispatcher she saw what she believed to be an NOPD officer a block away, not responding to the scene of a man having sex with an unconscious woman. She breaks down when she realizes the suspected rapist has fled.
“He’s gone, and this cop is still a block away, and this girl just got raped on a street corner, literally raped on a street corner,” the caller said.
Police Chief Shaun Ferguson said the man she approached was not an NOPD officer, but a uniformed Second City Court deputy constable who was working a paid detail nearby.
“Unfortunately, some of our uniforms are similar in nature,” Ferguson said.
That deputy constable was placed on suspension, and Constable Edwin Shorty said the investigation found he never got out of his vehicle until after the witness left the area, only to walk in the opposite direction of the heinous crime she was frantically reporting.
“More than several minutes elapsed between the initial complaint by the civilian witness to the deputy and when the deputy was able to confirm that NOPD had arrived on the scene,” Shorty said in a statement. “Furthermore, the deputy never attempted to exit his vehicle to assist the witness and did not exit his vehicle until after the witness had left his location and video evidence confirms that he actually walked in the opposite direction of the alleged incident.”
“At no time did the deputy attempt to consult with the responding law enforcement agency, NOPD, nor did he notify his supervisors,” Shorty continued. “The constable’s office was not notified about this incident until August 10. The reserve deputy’s actions were inconsistent with his official statement, his training, and the general law enforcement code of ethics.”
The deputy’s letter of resignation was accepted by Shorty on Thurs., Aug. 18. He has not been identified.
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