Casper Resident Demands City Council To Confront Rape Culture
Two years ago, Aimee Kidd didn't know what "rape culture" meant.
That was before Kidd was raped, impregnated, gave birth last month, and received lip service about justice, she told the 2017 Casper City Council and its new Mayor Kenyne Humphrey on Tuesday.
She told her story in September, and nothing has changed: her rapist was still on the streets and has assaulted other women, and the police have done virtually nothing.
Humphrey disrespected her then, and Kidd hopes she would change, she said. "I hope that you understand the gravity of the situation and honor and duty involved with the position you hold as a woman."
She reserved her greatest criticisms and questions for the police department including asking why Casper has fewer officers are on duty at any given time compared to similar cities, why her case was assigned to an officer who didn't interview her rapist, and why city council members haven't invited her to talk about what could be done.
"I don’t want to hear, 'We are looking into it,'" Kidd said. "I don’t want to hear, 'The matter has been deemed closed.'”
She wants the city to hold accountable a police department she called "incompetent," she said. "They have royally screwed up my case and investigation. The way the handled it and the damage that has been done can not be undone."
The law enforcement motto, "to serve and protect" is powerful, and an aspiration for those who are among the weakest in society, Kidd said.
But in her case, the rapist is protected while she, as a single mother of six and a rape survivor, has endured humiliation for demanding change, she said.
"And that is the definition of rape culture," Kidd said. "Rather than protecting the most oppressed and the weakest in the community, they are torn to shreds and no one bats an eye."
City council helps perpetuates the rape culture, she said.
"For a woman who is pregnant by rape to have to beg and plead police and her elected city officials publicly to do something is an absolute atrocity," Kidd said. "And despite the media coverage and my continued pleas and advocacy and community action, I still have only received lip service from my detective, the chief, and this council."
She cited the 14th Amendment's guarantees that a person shall not be deprived of their right to life, liberty, or property without due process.
"No person should be denied equal protection of the laws and that is exactly what is happening here," Kidd said. "I am being denied equal protection of the laws and so are other women because a rapist remains at large in this community and they are not being protected from him."
After she spoke, Humphrey and other council members said they wanted to meet with her, and put her in touch with local social service agencies.
New council member Amanda Huckabay said she's heard from many women since Kidd spoke in September. "It is my understanding from the sheer number of victims that have contacted me that we have a problem in our police department."
On the other hand, new council member and former police chief Chris Walsh said legal conditions require council to discuss this in executive session. "We cannot have an open discussion about this at this point."
But City Attorney Bill Luben disagreed. "With all due respect, I will double-check the statute, but I don't believe this matter will be appropriate for executive session."