go to content

Police Captain Apologizes For Saying Date Rape Is "Not A Trend That We’re Too Worried About"

NYPD Captain Peter Rose previously had said about date rape: "Some of them were Tinder, some of them were hookup sites, some of them were actually coworkers... They're not total abomination rapes where strangers are being dragged off the streets."

Originally posted on
Updated on

NYPD Captain Peter Rose has apologized after saying date rape is "not a trend that we're too worried about," as compared to "true stranger rape."

My sincerest apologies for the comments I've made.

Rose, who is the commanding officer in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, came under fire for his statements on rape last week.

He told DNAinfo that while "every rape should be investigated" and he wishes his department "could do more," it "really becomes a balancing act for the investigators."

In 2016, there were 13 reported rapes and attempted rapes in Greenpoint, up from eight in 2015, police said.

Rose said he wasn't too concerned about the 62% increase in assaults because "only two were true stranger rapes."

"Some of them were Tinder, some of them were hookup sites, some of them were actually coworkers," he said.

Rose issued the following apology on Twitter on Monday:

“I would like to take this opportunity to offer my apology for comment that I made at the 94 Precinct Community Council meeting. I deeply regret the statements I made last week about rape. I failed to communicate accurately how I respond to reports of rape, and the actions the Department takes as a whole.

“My comments were not meant to minimize the seriousness of sexual assault. Every rape whether it is perpetrated by a stranger or someone known to them is fully investigated. We make no distinction in our response.”

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, only about 14% of rapes are committed by strangers.

Rose said that, for the most part, the cases that failed to get off the ground have been those committed by people the victim knew.

"Those are the people who aren't cooperating," he said. "One person went back to Florida. Another person went back to California."

He also noted that in some cases, victims reported the rape at the hospital but didn't pursue legal action against their attacker.

Rose later echoed his comments at a Community Council meeting, saying "they're not total abomination rapes where strangers are being dragged off the streets."

"If there's a true stranger rape, a random guy picks up a stranger off the street, those are the troubling ones. That person has, like, no moral standards," he said, according to DNA Info.

In a statement to BuzzFeed News last week, NYPD Deputy Commissioner Stephen P. Davis said Rose's comments "did not properly explain the complexity of issues involved with investigating rape complaints:"

Every report of rape is thoroughly investigated by specially trained detectives in the NYPD’s Special Victims Unit. All complaints of rape and other types of sexual crimes are taken seriously whether they are committed by domestic partners, acquaintances, or strangers.
Due to the anonymous and random nature of rapes committed by strangers, detectives often face greater challenges in these types of crimes. Regardless, all sexual offenses are taken seriously.

UltraViolet, a national women's advocacy organization, had called for Rose to be fired immediately.

“Rape is a crime—whether you know the rapist or not, whether you are on Tinder or not—and it is the responsibility of law enforcement to investigate, prosecute and hold rapists accountable for their crimes—period, full stop," UltraViolet co-founder Nita Chaudhary said in a statement.

“These remarks are deeply disturbing coming from a police captain. An increase in rape should alarm the NYPD and cause them to redouble their efforts to arrest rapists. Instead, Captain Peter Rose and the NYPD are engaging in victim-blaming of the worst kind while judging which rapes they deem to be legitimate and which they do not. With comments like these, it is not surprising that survivors of sexual assault don’t feel comfortable reporting and cooperating with police authorities who dismiss the seriousness of violence against women.

“The New York Police Department should immediately fire Captain Peter Rose for his dangerous and unacceptable views. Survivors of sexual assault and all New Yorkers deserve better."

Thousands have been sharing Rose's initial statement, many calling it "disgusting."

good god this is a disgusting statement from the NYPD https://t.co/qzSmD2w6j6

I knew my rapist. Believe me, it was a “total abomination rape.” Believe me, he had "no moral standards." https://t.co/1b7ffIbOYN

The NYPD basically came out & said they don't believe it's rape if you knew your attacker or met them through an ap… https://t.co/6h6MRw4kXO

"Rape is rape is rape," many said.

Rape is rape is rape is rape. It's not more or less legitimate if it's a stranger or your partner who rapes you. Ra… https://t.co/rfNR0t7EHl

This can’t possibly be real, right? All rape is rape. All rape is horrific. This isn’t complicated. https://t.co/MDeiNkz0hW

A lot of people are calling it a clear-cut example of what rape culture looks like.

If you have difficulty believing that "rape culture" exists, then read that paragraph about "not a trend we're too… https://t.co/7ssFH2KC9U

These statements are what rape culture looks like. All rape & sexual assault are serious crimes. Our law enforcemen… https://t.co/LgRJ9CDxcf

And some have pointed these outlooks out as a reason many people don't report their rape.

"Why didn't you go to the police?" 👇 https://t.co/fVW3uILqMM

Why We Don't Report, part 8,741,653 https://t.co/ffwjP2cP1f

NYPD making a nonsense distinction between rapists with moral values and rapists without moral values. I see why wo… https://t.co/cX2fucL21R

On Tuesday, members of the National Organization for Women protested outside the Greenpoint police station and called for the reopening of the 10 unsolved rape cases from 2016.

.@NOW_NYC protested outside @NYPD94Pct, calling on the NYPD to reopen and thoroughly investigate 10 unsolved rape c… https://t.co/uS5EqbX0rK

Jane Manning, the organization's Director of Advocacy, told reporters "it's good that [Rose] apologized, but the apology doesn't fix the problem."

“This belief that acquaintance rapes don’t matter is a belief that was carried out for an entire year in this precinct. The idea that acquaintance rape is not a serious crime is unfortunately a prevalent attitude in our criminal justice system," Manning said, according to Newsweek.

“Most rapists target women they know. They do this because they think it’ll be easier to get away with the crime by claiming consent," she said. "When law enforcement officials fail to take acquaintance rape seriously, they reward rapists for this tactic.”

A rep for NYPD told BuzzFeed News the unsolved cases were "never closed."

"They are still open... All are still being actively investigated," the rep said.

Julia Reinstein is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Julia Reinstein at julia.reinstein@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.