New York City has been rocked by a gang rape case where an 18-year-old girl was allegedly raped by four teenage boys in a Brooklyn playground.
As the investigation into the crime has grown, many news outlets have been reporting details about the alleged victim.
These details include reports she was drinking with her father before the incident, and was "combative" with police.
On Monday, New York City Councilmember Laurie Cumbo spoke with CNN's Pamela Brown about the case. Her interview is now gaining national attention, with many cheering her response to what they say were Brown's "victim-blaming" questions.
During the interview, Brown asked Cumbo what she thought about reports that the victim was "drunk" and "combative" with police at the scene.
But in response, Cumbo questioned why Brown was focusing on the alleged victim, rather than the suspects.
"We shouldn't talk about whether she was drunk. We shouldn't talk about whether she was properly dressed. We shouldn't talk about the time of the evening that it happened," she said. "That is too typical of the situation of how we discuss rape in this city, the nation, and really the world."
Instead, she said, people should be focusing on the "individuals that committed this heinous crime."
"What were the bad decisions that they made all throughout the day?" she asked about the suspects. "Had they been drinking? Had they been smoking? What are their situations in terms of what would be put in someone's mind to think that's OK?"
Cumbo added that the suspects may have assumed that because they are black and the victim is black, there would be less of a chance that authorities would hold them accountable. She cited the systematic neglect in the Brownsville neighborhood, where the alleged crime occurred.
"Whether you're on the Upper East Side or in Brownsville, all women matter and we're here to make sure that message is sent loud and clear," she said.
After the interview, people on Twitter began applauding Cumbo for challenging what they called Brown's victim-blaming questions.
She even earned a few new fans.
Cumbo told BuzzFeed News that she believes that "we as a society all have to understand the role we play in keeping women safe in the city of New York."
"Some of us might think that 'I'm not going to rape anyone I don't have to deal with this,'" she continued. "But when we ask those types of questions — whether she was drinking, what she was wearing, what time it was — we're contributing to creating a rape culture in our nation without even knowing it."
CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment by BuzzFeed News.
Leticia Miranda is a retail reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Leticia Miranda at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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