SAPD's Special Victims Unit Has Failed to 'Properly Investigate' 130 Cases

SAPD's Special Victims Unit Has Failed to 'Properly Investigate' 130 Cases
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San Antonio Police Chief William McManus has called for an external investigation into SAPD's Special Victims Unit after an internal audit found more than 130 cases had "not been properly investigated."

SVU specifically handles cases involving human trafficking, domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, and other sex crimes. It's unknown exactly how officers  mishandled these cases.

In a Thursday morning press release, McManus said that he's already transferred a lieutenant and two sergeants from the department for "failing to properly supervise the unit," and that other disciplinary procedures are in "final stages." All mishandled cases have been taken over by other investigators.

"I am appalled and outraged," wrote City Manager Sheryl Sculley in a Thursday press release. "I’m especially upset given the numerous policy changes that Chief McManus and I have implemented over the past decade to improve the investigation of these particularly heinous crimes."

This comes exactly a year after another internal audit discovered that SAPD's Crisis Response Team had failed to quickly respond to nearly 70 percent of all 2015 cases reviewed in which people called 911 to report domestic violence. Crisis response officers took between two and 10 days to respond to 52 percent of the emergency calls.

Sculley said she's directed City Attorney Andy Segovia to throughly investigate SVU.

"It is absolutely imperative that victims ... have the utmost confidence that their case will be investigated immediately and thoroughly and with the highest level of sensitivity and professionalism," Sculley said.

"There is a lot more that I want to say about this, but federal law and provisions in the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the police union prevent me from doing so at this time."
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