ProPublica: “…Across [Baltimore] country, dozens of law enforcement agencies are making it appear as though they have solved a significant share of their rape cases when they simply have closed them, according to an investigation by Newsy, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting and ProPublica based on data from more than 60 police agencies nationwide. They are able to declare cases resolved through what’s known as exceptional clearance. Federal guidelines allow police to use the classification when they have enough evidence to make an arrest and know who and where the suspect is, but can’t make an arrest for reasons outside their control. Although criminal justice experts say the designation is supposed to be used sparingly, our data analysis shows that many departments rely heavily on exceptional clearance, which can make it appear that they are better at solving rape cases than they actually are. Because exceptional clearance data is not readily accessible to the public, we read through hundreds of police reports and sent more than 100 public records requests to the largest law enforcement agencies in the country. We analyzed data for more than 70,000 rape cases, providing an unprecedented look at how America’s police close them.
Nearly half of the law enforcement agencies that provided records cleared more rapes through exceptional means than by actually arresting a suspect in 2016, the data analysis shows. The Baltimore County Police Department, for example, reported to the public that it cleared 70 percent of its rape cases in 2016, nearly twice the national average. In reality, the department made arrests about 30 percent of the time, according to its internal data. The rest were exceptionally cleared…”
Could Your Police Department Be Inflating Rape Clearance Rates?…please read this entire article to learn the data that ProPublica collected specific to the “…unfortunate reality of sexual assault in this country…”