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Mayor Tim Keller Shines National Light on Rape Kit Backlog in NBC Documentary

Mayor Keller outlines plan to clear backlog to bring justice to survivors, put offenders behind bars.

February 28, 2018

NBC released a short documentary film about the backlog of untested rape kits in Albuquerque. Mayor Tim Keller recently signed an executive order requiring the development of a comprehensive plan to process the backlog and ensure that a new backlog does not develop. Mayor Keller and his administration, including Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Sarita Nair, have worked throughout their public service careers with sexual assault survivor advocates to address this public safety issue. Clearing the rape kit backlog is a critical way to honor survivors and put offenders behind bars.

“You look at stacks that go from floor to ceiling of thousands of these evidence boxes, knowing there’s been no justice for anything in there,” stated Mayor Tim Keller in the documentary. “The [executive] order essentially forces the City of Albuquerque and our crime lab and the police department to come up with a plan to end the rape kit backlog; the backlog goes back thirty-plus years.”

As former state auditor, Keller conducted the first statewide audit of the backlog that identified over 5,000 untested kits across the state, 75% of which were in Albuquerque. While rape kit backlogs are a problem across the nation, New Mexico has the highest number of untested kits per capita.

“This really is about priorities. If we put the same kind of effort we did into building a new fountain downtown, we could have eliminated half the rape kit backlog,” Keller continued.

The film features Mayor Tim Keller, CAO Sarita Nair and includes footage of the Albuquerque Crime Lab. Watch the video here: