A 19 year-old woman who said she was raped by two police officers last year tweeted out a video of a man harassing her at her home. A lawyer for one of the police officers accused of rape sent a man to serve subpoena papers for photos of the damage to her wrists. She said she was handcuffed during the attack.
In the video posted on Wednesday, the man said, “There’s your subpoena right there” and “What are you afraid of? This isn’t Russia. I’m not the KGB.”
As she appears to walk up the steps to her home, she tells him, “Now get out of my house.”
He responds, “I’m from the sheriff’s office. I can do whatever I want.”
Toward the end of the video he mumbles, “stupid bitch.”
THIS ISNT HARASSMENT ?! pic.twitter.com/X0SvaIfXRg
— Anna Chambers (@annaaachambers) 8 August 2018
The alleged rape survivor, who goes by Anna Chambers on social media, said she was raped by Brooklyn narcotics detectives Richard Hall and Edward Martins on September 15. She said officers handcuffed her, drove her to a Chipotle parking lot in an unmarked van, and one officer raped her orally and another vaginally while she was handcuffed. Then she said they left her on a street corner.
In April, the detectives, who have resigned, went to a court hearing to request the case be dropped but the judge refused to do so and the case has gone to trial. They could spend up to 25 years in prison if convicted of rape and kidnapping. The officers claim that the teenager, who was handcuffed and in police custody, consented to sex.
The trial is now in the discovery stage, said her lawyer, Michael David, and he doesn’t believe it was necessary to subpoena Chambers for photos of her wrists.
The officer’s lawyer, Mark Bederow, told the New York Post that he sent the server because David wouldn’t take the papers but David said the papers should be sent to the district attorney’s office. Bederow also told the Post that he condemned the man’s behavior. ThinkProgress reached out to Bederow’s office to find out more about the incident but did not receive a comment by time of publication.
David told ThinkProgress, “This was for discovery. You don’t have to serve a subpoena. This was just to harass her.”
David said he wants to know more about the identity of the man who came to serve the subpoena, since he showed her a badge and said he was from the sheriff’s office. David said this means he could either be impersonating an officer or is off-duty and normally works at the sheriff’s office but was hired to deliver the subpoena.
David said his remarks were unacceptable.
“It’s also the denigration of women, especially a rape victim … He’s also blocking her way. He’s not allowed to go on her private property without a warrant. If he’s a process server, he shouldn’t be a process server.”
David said that although this was the first known direct harassment of Chambers at her home, “Law enforcement come to her block and stare at her. It’s nonstop.”
Last October, the officers’ lawyers sent a letter to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, focusing on Chambers’ social media posts, such as “provocative” selfies, to smear Chambers’ character. The lawyers asked if her behavior made sense for a rape survivor.
“This behavior is unprecedented for a depressed victim of a vicious rape,” the letter read.
It is a rape myth that there is one way rape survivors should react to trauma. Survivors respond in a variety of ways to the trauma they have experienced, yet studies show the survivor’s behavior following a rape carries “the greatest weight” in terms of attribution to blame to the victim through rape myths.
It’s already difficult for rape survivors to see their perpetrators get prison time for sexual violence but it’s even harder for victims who were raped by police officers to get time, if they even go to trial in the first place, experts say. Police officers who use their power to sexually abuse people tend to target the most marginalized people, typically women, such as the homeless, sex workers, and teenagers, because they are less likely to be believed.