Seattle is one of the cities where we are using public records requests to uncover the number of untested rape kits in police storage. Through our efforts, we have learned Seattle has a backlog of 1,276 untested kits. Learn more about our process below.
On January 22, 2015, the Seattle PD announced that the department would test all sexual assault evidence kits, including untested kits in storage. Deanna Nollete, supervisor of the Special Victims Unit for SPD stated, "We'll work with our partners to ensure that what we are doing is the gold standard."
Right now, there is more we do not know about the backlog than we do know because few state governments and no federal agencies require law enforcement to track rape kit data. For that reason, we have undertaken The Accountability Project to bring greater transparency and accountability around rape kit testing practices nationwide.
Testing Status Unknown
* This number covers untested kits from just the past 10 years
February 10, 2014: Spoke with local advocate working to gather numbers from Seattle Police Department (SPD) through public records requests and began outreach to SPD
July 3, 2014: Sent public records request letter to SPD
July 16, 2014: Received email from SPD: 1,025 kits collected over last 10 years
July 22, 2014: Received update email from SPD: Between 2008 and 2014, 1,039 kits booked into evidence and 237 tested, leaving 802 untested
July 28, 2014: Received update email from SPD: 602 kits collected between 2004 and 2007, for a total of 1,641 collected since 2004
July 29, 2014: Sent appeal to SPD for number of kits sent for testing between 2004 and 2007, and number of kits collected in the last 10 years currently in storage
August 22, 2014: Received email from SPD: 1,641 kits collected since 2004, and 365 sent for testing, leaving 1,276 untested
January 22, 2015: Seattle Police Department announces that they will test all sexual assault evidence kits, including untested kits in storage.
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