Mar 20, 2014|
11 sexual assaults reported in New Orleans over the past 2 weeks: Uptown, in the French Quarter, the CBD and Bywater. Authorities are investigating everything from a reported kidnapping & rape; rapes and sexual assaults; attempted rapes and burglaries… attempted armed robberies and sexual assaults…frightening situations that are happening all times of day and night. What are NOPD and the city doing to protect residents coming and going to parking lots for work; jogging or walking in their neighborhoods; leaving restaurants in their favorite parts of town? What are NOPD and the city doing to protect tourists and the Crescent City’s life’s blood—tourism? And, what can women…and men…do to protect themselves? Angela spoke to: NOPD Commander of the Special Victims Unit, Lt. Melvin Gilbert; Deputy Chief Kirk Bouyelas, who oversees sex crimes; and Vin Chary, senior instructor at Street Smarts Krav Maga.
We're discussing the hot topics of the day with co-host of First Take, Todd Menesses.
Angela discusses the shooting in Lafayette and says farewell to WWL as she hands her timeslot off to Scoot.
What's trending in sports, news, and entertainment?
Angela talks with WWL-TV investigative reporter Katie Moore and Tulane law professor Tania Tetlow about the city's backlog of uninvestigated rape cases.
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
Well we're doing another mental shift here from the payday loan situation of what's going to not be going on in Baton Rouge trying to run. Cool little little bit getting down to at least 36%. Interest very interesting discussion now and one that will follow up. This next hour is is of tremendous importance because we've all been reading the newspapers and we -- watching television. And women in particular throughout the city kinda should be on high alert with the recent rash of sexual assaults and when I'm calling brash assaults. One of the young woman and a quarter who was separated from her friends and went looking for them. Only to be thrown into a banned by four men taken away and raped. Another of a man and woman who were just taking a walk in the by water accosted by a man with a weapon who forced them. And then was sexually attacking the woman. And the woman's companion shot and killed the attacker. And another woman uptown fights offer attacker who walked into her home in what is considered a safe part of pertaining street. And there are others and and we're gonna talk not necessarily specifically about them. But about them but about the sort of what's happening and I'm so delighted. That. Lieutenant -- Gilbert who was the commander of the special victims unit of the and a PD this year. And deputy chief Kirk boy Louis who was over several divisions -- -- -- a PD including the sex crimes unit. And we are also joined by then chart. Who -- senior instructor of street smarts crave Manigat hope I'm saying that's right which is a self defense method American. Get into about. How to protect yourself and how to be alert to things but first let's go ahead and talk about what's going on and in none of these look related. But it seems like every day we've opened the newspaper or turn on the TV and there's another. And and just from the experts. What do you think is going -- Well into well first owns one say -- we're so grateful that -- had us on the show we love to be here and talk about this because we do believe it's important. And it's something that we do want a message to the people of this community. You know you talked about some of the recent cases what I would say is that we want everyone in this city to always be vigilant. With where they are what they're doing what their surroundings are. Because you never know what's gonna happen you never know what what might -- you so. We want just a general consciousness. -- -- general consciousness among the people that live in the city. No matter what it might be forum. Absolutely. You to get -- much closer to the Mike right there thank you what do you think is going on. Well yeah. I think a lot of things that have come to light is a direct result of some high profile sexual assaults that -- pain in the city recently. It's not necessarily. An increase. And -- it's an increase in reporting. -- In the the sex crimes unit we've branched out to the community and we can make in public appearances with different organizations. Tried to educate the public. All in what exactly sexual saudis. And because of that and the recent publicity of a sexual -- more women are feeling more confident coming fall. Last night again -- from wrong there was another incident where a woman was in a bar. Near the when -- universities in two guys grabber I don't know the specifics I'm not even asking. At some point people always think well she was in a bar. Or you know she had been drinking. It's no less. An attack or rape. If you've been drinking or been in a bar. Actually not. We we don't wanna start victim blaming at all. The fact that. A victim might be drinking or victim might be in a bar or whatever it is. We don't wanna go down a road victim blaming at all. We we wanna take each report that we get treated with the respect the dignity that the survivors deserve. Do as thorough investigation as possible. So that we can find out what happened we will we want to know we want. The people in this community to have the confidence in us as a police department to report to us and I do believe that was lieutenant Gilbert said. Is accurate in that when you look at. The sexual reports that are coming to the -- saying nurses sexual. Assault nurses that work in in in the hospital. There there are staying up static there there about the same. What we believe in what they believe not just -- but what the professionals in. In via sexual assault world believe. In this community is that the reporting is is going on that. There's a greater confidence. That the victims are coming forward. You know nationally. National we only deal with -- About 28% reporting a sexual assaults in this country or -- slow is very low. It's very low. So when we can encourage victims whom we can encourage confidence. In what we're doing and we can get more people come forward. They're able to get the services that they need they're able to. You know it's not just about the police department it it is also. The services that they need because they've suffered a very traumatic. Event and done not only do they need medical -- is what they -- any counseling -- And ways for them cope with what's happened to them. And they can only get that win when they come forward. Lieutenant Gilbert you were talking about your. The commander of special victims unit. What do you how do you define sexual self a sexual assault. Is. Any any time individual is forced to perform a sex act against their will. Whether it's male or female. That would be considered essential whether it's. Penile vaginal intercourse or rule any type of sexual advances against persons the survivors will it would beat Clinton essentials. The the woman who was abducted and taken. Thrown in the vein I think of all the ones that others I've been talking to about. Neighbors said. Our most horrified by that because it it just says I'm walking down the street. And you know she said she couldn't find -- French is looking for friends and then somebody grabs you it's almost out of a movie. Would wouldn't you all consider them a little unusual. Yes ma'am in it's also rare statistically what you find across the country is only about 17%. Of the rapes that occur. Or strained when we called stranger rapes. More often than not the -- -- has or knows the assailant in some form or fashion. So it is rare for. For us to see it from but like you said it is something that is very concerning. Much like the case that you mentioned earlier with the but sexual -- on the bar water where the -- in the European. Killed by her by the by the for the. But even to me and that was even berets you know -- -- walking down the street guy comes up with a gun you know all just going up to a woman. Would be one thing that developed -- woman with a companion. Is risky. Absolutely and it it does show brazen this. But again those -- type of events or. -- that's not to say that the other type of events on unimportant to us that's not to say that the other type of events. Or not justices trump -- dramatic to the victims because they all are. But those types of cases are a little bit more rare and like you said not only to. To you know confront. A female victim but to confront the male companion that takes. Take so a little bit actually. Well I want everyone to stay with us were gonna continue this conversation about what's happening in our community and I am I totally respect which is saying that this. May not be an increase it just seems like and I think you know. The perception is. While every day it seems like somebody else but. I think deputy chief Kirk loyalists at the best at all times we have to be alert at all times we need to be aware. Lieutenant Melvin Gilbert is also here with the sex crimes unit as is within. Char and we're going to divisive -- wrong. It's charged it's a chart to enjoy we are going to get to you -- because he's gonna talk about how we can defend ourselves about this kind of thing -- let's. Let's move along with and talking about the recent cases. But. Real quick is it unusual. For women to be raped in hotels. Because -- seem to be a couple of cases I didn't know that was during Mardi Gras or watched. Well I can't put. Usual unusual it does happen. At some of those cases panned out to be other than what they actually appear on the surface. Most rapes that we have there usually the usually occur at the victim. At the -- at the survivors residence. All or at. The accused residence because the majority or rapes were committed by persons known. To the survival. Now you do have the stranger to stranger rapes that may occur in abandoned building in Seoul you know some other location but generally. I can't see that. They occur regularly at -- Okay. And again you can be raped by different. And it's really no friend that's right yes yes you can you can be raped by your husband you can be raped by your husband has absolutely. And -- I think that makes me very clear. It's saying no means no yes absolutely. And we never won we never wanna blame the victim we never wanna blame. Because of what it would have a relationship might be aware of circumstance -- might be. You know we never wanna do that but it can be in it often is someone that they know a friend. A boyfriend. And an even it's it's something that's. Not widely. Known or understood but like we just say you caused her. Let's talk about the mindset of a sexual predator or rapists. Well contrary to what many people may believe that it's about six to reality of it is is that it's not it's a crime of power and control. Because. By forcing the person. To submit to what would be considered the most intimate act that you could have a perpetrate upon a person. It gives you ultimate control. Because when. A person is committed -- They have control. Over the victim over the person -- -- And that's ports possible of that act is the control behind. So it's an we've heard that for so long it isn't about sex it is about power. It is about that control and yet you think -- what is lacking in that person who is the perpetrators. To have to get that. Feeling of control. Well yeah. I can't really show -- what's in the mind of -- oval oval perpetrated but I can't tell you many cases. The victims go along with that for several reasons. They made it maybe especially if it's a situation where there's -- known perpetrators like a husband all along significant other. It may be a financial. Reason why you submit to these ongoing sexual assault because if you resist. And you don't have anywhere else to go you don't have any of those financial resources you don't have a family network to to rely on. Then you have to allow this to happen and it's a -- survival mechanism. Com it may be just a physical difference in size many times women are reluctant to resist. Because the fear. The physical. -- -- Force that may be used to force them to comply so it is any number of reasons. Why you don't have resistance on the Pollard the victims. You know the Darren Sharper. Has been accused has not been found guilty but has been accused of what we have heard of before perhaps not to this extent but drugging women. And then -- And I'm just very curious about what you'll think. That is because in my mind it is that moment is a corpse. So what kind of pleasure what a person -- From drugging of someone and then raking them. I don't know. And ice certainly don't want to speak to what happened with the sharper -- Or make any accusations about him personally but. I don't know what goes through. These. Assailants mines are really don't I. It's hard for us to grasp and arms and -- -- look and action it's like. It's hard for us to understand it really is. But that is one of the things that. That piece -- victims potential victims people in general need to be aware of this. The that date rape drugs because that's becoming more -- more more per probable and every day. In -- -- that they can guard themselves. From that can be proactive. In trying to guard themselves from that but it is something that is becoming more more proper. And again I'm not picking on Darren Sharper either he's just a good illustration. Of what the potential is there but it's just and I talked to a psychiatrist about it and he felt that it was of which is very interesting. It's man who are really afraid of one. And you think oh how could this be -- guiding afraid of a moment but there internally afraid of a woman and so day. This is the way they can. Handle them. And it's it's creepy thought yes this is a very concrete and the but not -- it's very sad in this very sad for for any woman who's being ranked that certainly for one who has drug like that or. One minute to think you're fine the next second you're out and then you have to figure out. But three cheers for all the women who are brave and will go to police. Absolutely. Absolutely I mean. When we when they come to us we wanna make sure that we don't re victimize them or put them through anything that's going to. Cause them any further pain what they've already gone through this one we we need to guard ourselves -- every day that detectives need to be made aware. You know. Preventing those type of -- victimization so the way we handle the victims the way we deal with the men and that's why it's important for. For people to understand and for people to know and community that. We are safety net yes if you will. There is a safety net in the community you know we worked very closely with the new -- friendly justice and that is as well take -- witness that are on a couple of occasions. It's kind of a one stop shop. But there is a safety net there and it is something that that the people in the community can feel. Safely to and coming forward and report. We have to be alert at all times it's just that simple these things happen it's very frightening and scary to read in and hear about and you feel badly for. -- these victims but were the kind of responsible for -- to a point I want to go to the before we start with them a wonderful silk defenseman. There was a woman uptown who a man walked in her house and attempted to rape her. And she bit him according to the newspaper and he left. Is that the general idea to fight back if you're not having a gun looking actor face. What is the general idea. Well yeah. That that would be and I -- a general idea because you wanna separate yourself. From the attack as best you can. Not if there's a weapon involved. You don't wanna you don't wanna. Face fatal outcome. If somebody to action with a -- -- in the hole and actually throw. The best thing you can do at that point is try to talk him down and get as much of physical description information that you can. And just remember all of the small details because that's what makes them a good solid investigation we have the mine -- No and I can certainly understand that but at that moment in -- so terrified. I mean just oh my gosh this is happening. But you're correct you have to try to keep. I mean that they're going to be situations when you sit there and you evaluate that and you have to choose. And it's a it's a really difficult decision to make. Do I'll allow. Myself. To be a victim of a sexual assault. -- to her and that's the best judgment call that you have to make at that point. So. If the person is brazen enough to produce a weapon and threatened to shoot you. You might not want to take that risk. Sitting here of the entire half hour which I greatly appreciate is have been Sharif who was with them crawled -- Ask Monica. -- -- -- -- and -- since handing our producer just raves about you and how you've been very helpful to us in in various capacities but you're really here to talk about. There are some things you can do. Before you get into that tell us about crop of Monica. How well personal Angela thanks for having me. -- -- is the official self defense system of the Israeli military so it was born and hostile environment where people didn't have a lot of time to devote to training. So it was designed to bring people to a high level of proficiency a short period of time. -- wildly regarded as the most effective self defense system on the planet. Many military law enforcement units are using it. And like -- -- it brings you high level proficiency very quickly. And also you can retain the techniques very easily because they're based on common principles and natural instinctive movement so we -- to harness the body's natural and stay. Movements. To overcome somebody and in turn that into your your your defense and counterattack. Could there have been any thing the woman who is being dragged into demand. Is there anything she could've done. Well you know. Every situation is different none of -- -- they're there to see what happened you know what we teach our. Our students are we have all over 700 students that that -- that's we teach them. Various techniques to get out of you know chokes bear hugs grabs. Defenses against weapons knives guns sticks multiple attackers. And we teach them to fight to the death if that situation is on if they just want your wallet your keys. That's fine give it to them but if they're not trying to direct you go to different location get into vehicle. That's when that Lancaster to click on and now it's a matter of like accuracy before a judgment call do I wanna be a victim. Or am I gonna submit that and that's in the moment you you know you're gonna have to make that judgment call I think if you're armed with. -- skills and you take it upon yourself. It's like an insurance policy learning how to to defend yourself. If your armor their skills you make quick decisive. Judgment calls and you know that'll increase your confidence and enter your your rate of success and boarding. You know violent encounter. The woman uptown who bit the man's hand. And he ran off season and you know it could have gone the other way could it made him so much angrier. But he she and it she's she was able to two. To -- him in making go away so as we look at -- did either -- -- -- You know well if you're in that situation that is. Our advice is to to fight it and you you need to fight for yourself -- to fight for your family. You need to find a way to get out of that situation. We do teach you how to deal with these threats we're actually hosting a seminar next Saturday. And it's highly coincidental that. It's an anti abduction seminar went with everything that's going on -- next Saturday -- at our facility over on general to golf from 10 AM to 1 PM. We aired last year we had six bands that we rented. So we are going to teach you know if it's open to students and on students were teaching how to defend against you know. Very common tax -- was saying before chokes. There's grabs bear hugs but we're also teach you to do with threats on the ground. On armed and unarmed attackers say we're teaching you to deal with and -- threats on the ground. How do avoid being thrown into the van and once you're in the -- fighting out of that situation so it's going to be a real. Real life experience for them and giving them some skills that deposits -- elect went. You know I wish we were all born with those skills that or not. Well you know they we we we are born with that -- that desire to live right testified so we just need to enhance that night met. And I think through training and -- said for taking it upon yourself to give yourself that insurance policy. And to really you know develop that fighting spirit that never say die attitude. And that confidence I think that transfers into all aspects of your life and also prevents you from being a victim because of how you carry yourself. Which is also you know be situationally aware. Plays a big part and not being a victim. Now that's absolutely right and and again I'm not gonna go over all of these cases but sometimes it is just you're not being alert -- just walking around and that makes you look more vulnerable. Exactly -- we're you know we're all so concerned with what's going on on FaceBook or for generic email are looking at our phones you know it. It's you know it it takes away our peripheral vision we don't see what's going on. Now we advise our our students to first of all -- both of your hands available out of your pockets -- her shoulders back. Head up eyes on a swivel scanning. Only stimulated areas try to travel in groups and if you seek a group of people coming towards you cross the street. There's many things you can do to avoid this. But there are going to be times where you're gonna find yourself in situations where you will have to defend yourself so. We do our best to tell the community Ryan thank you -- -- country with us. I guess that the two police officers. In working with women over the years who have been victims have they ever said anything to you about. It the decision process they were going through. To either fight back or not fight back. We don't. We generally don't get a lot of women that fight back. I mean almost on a lot of the cases. They gave me put up a degree of resistance. But it's not the type of resistance. Like the crowd got to me -- It'd just be what a person -- normally you know don't stop eagle please stop don't do it they may push. But the minute that the assailant shows that he is an old little overwhelming. Degree of force. Generally comply and you'll switch into survival hole where I don't wanna make him angry. Into releasing -- it. It boils down to a personal decision as well for that person. You know. There are things that they can do you know they can scream kick. Do those things you that they don't have the formal training that you guys offer. There's still some things that they can do but in the end it it really -- boils down to. What that person how they react in in what they feel and you know it's it's it would be nice if we keep we could say this is what everybody should do but it just doesn't work out that way. I think something that -- was saying though is so correct. In any circumstances in the -- today certainly at night if you're out. It is how you carry yourself with is how you -- you know. You're staring at people and money and though I'm watching you too is those things that we can do and not. Always looking so well. Right and you know it set. That it in realistically not everybody's going to be able to -- There are things you can do to be situationally aware. As you were saying. It's it's so important to -- to avoid being a victim of that that can be that we stop in the attack before it even happens are being aware of your surroundings keeping your -- -- -- your shoulders back. Now presenting yourself somebody who's weak because. Attackers they you know -- they're planning this out it's not just a spur of the moment thing there that they planned this out and they're looking for. Victims. So. Without training you also have you know all of your appendages to use to strike with coupons your fingers through the eyes you can bite. Right you can use your -- as you can use your knees. Just revert to fighting like a wild animal. It's you know they if you eat if you value life and you you you feel like you you need to to go to that level. Harness everything that you possibly having your system and that's who we really create you know I've seen so many transformations in the people that trend that's not so much becoming. A martial -- story you know again with -- refined techniques and skills it's about developing that fighting spirit. And that never say die attitude as I was referred to before. And if you haven't in your head that I'm going to win it's gonna be me not you you will overcome. And just keep. Punching and clawing and and making as much noise as possible so that you can draw attention to yourself from our standards -- police. You know we we focus a lot -- on using your your your voice whether it is two. You agree I would agree but let me also touch on one other piece because I think what not take away from from what you just said but I think. What we find is the majority of time. It's. It's situations where there may be in a social setting and a -- like you mentioned earlier or someone's house and you know there's some things especially with how we touched on -- the date rape drugs. You know when there in that setting don't take a drink from someone Leo -- leave you drink unattended. You know be responsible with those things. You know. Trust your -- Are really think that's an important one as well -- if it doesn't feel right if it doesn't. Look right then you know trust you've got in in get out -- situation if you can or or make sure that you. Contacted someone let him know where you are emaciated he cellphone with you. You know caught make you have enough money in your pocket if he'd call -- Just some common sense things like that that are important as well. -- -- and -- common sense but vital. Know very very good that's that we we tell our students that all the time was saying you know always trust your your instincts and in your gut and don't be afraid to hurt somebody's feelings. Right if you feel cover over the same situation tell somebody tobacco way to get away from you or. You know that's if you're too worried and in our our society of hurting someone's feelings. That's not you know that's not important in the grand scheme of things you need to trust yourself and your instincts. Have you spoken to rapists. And and what was going through their mind did they planted now -- saying that they were walking down the street tonight's the night I'm gonna get somebody or tonight Simon Miller a -- pick up somebody. My experience has been that if it's a stranger type situation that. There is some planning that's involved I think. What was said earlier as well as. They will look for someone who they believe is vulnerable. OK so if someone is walking down the street they're confident their shoulders squared back they know where they're going to look at where they're going to heads on a pivot like you said. They're less likely to end up being a victim than someone who's not paid attention who is not showing any kind of confidence whose. And engrossed in their cell phone or. Or putting himself in a position where. They're more likely. To be a victim it's not to blame on issues. These these type of individuals. Are cowards. And they will look for people to victimize. Who they believe a week. If you are ever attacked go to LSU interim hospital the -- senator if you need other help the New Orleans family justice center you must call their hotline is 866. 9554. And the big anti abduction seminar is a week from Saturday at street smarts crop McGraw. Please go thank you all.