Alaska police agency failed to protect Indigenous women, says ACLU

The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday accused police in Nome, Alaska, of "a systemic and disastrous failure" to keep Native women safe from sexual assault.

ACLU's Alaska branch made that charge in a letter demanding the city pay $500,000 to a former 911 dispatcher who says her colleagues at the police department failed to investigate her report that a man raped her in her home. The letter said Clarice Hardy, who is of Inupiaq heritage, was unable to continue working there, and suffered nightmares, flashbacks and panic attacks.

The ACLU's action comes 12 days after an AP investigation into complaints by Alaska Native women from Nome and surrounding villages that their reports of sexual assault were not investigated aggressively by the city's police. Nome police data show that from 2008 through 2017, eight per cent of calls about sexual assaults against adults resulted in an arrest.


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