Minneapolis police report finding hundreds of untested rape kits

Published 4:13 pm Friday, November 15, 2019

By Mike Moen

MPR News/90.1

Minneapolis police officials said Friday that the department’s backlog of untested rape kits is much larger than previously thought. An accounting error traced back to 2015 revealed that MPD has nearly 1,700 untested kits — far more than the 194 that were reported back then.

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During a morning news conference streamed by KARE-TV, Mayor Jacob Frey called it an “unjustifiable mistake” that predated his administration, as well as current leadership at the police department.

“We bring forward the findings today with humility and in the name of transparency,” Frey said.

Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said Friday that back in 2015, an audit reported 194 untested kits. He said over the summer, he was informed that the number was actually closer to 1,700.

“We had a failure in terms of the auditing process of those kits. That is unacceptable,” Arradondo said.

Some of the untested kits go back as far as 30 years. Arradondo said the department is still unsure what led to the accounting error.

Department officials said the discovery happened when they were doing an inventory to be in compliance with a 2018 state law that tightened regulations for police agencies to send unrestricted rape kits to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for testing.