SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The San Francisco Police Department will no longer be allowed to use rape kit DNA to identify crime suspects. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a law Tuesday night that bans law enforcement from storing and using the DNA.
San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin said he was “shocked” when he first learned about the practice, and that police had used DNA collected from a woman’s rape kit years earlier — to connect her to an unrelated felony property crime.
The concern – that sexual assault victims might not come forward – if worried that their DNA profile could be used against them.
Boudin publicly revealed the practice….and that led to the city’s board of supervisors moving to make it illegal.
The woman linked to the property crime case through her DNA had her charges dropped – but she’s still planning to sue the SF Police Department.
As for Boudin, he’s relieved the ban is now reality, and he’s still intent on making sure that sex crime victims know about it. There’s an ongoing audit to determine if other rape victims were later arrested with this practice.
State Senator Scott Wiener has introduced legislation to ban the practice at the state level.
KRON4 reached out the SFPD regarding the practice of storing DNA collected from rape victims and received the following statement:
“The San Francisco Police Department supports the legislation passed by the Board of Supervisors regarding SFPD’s collection and storing of DNA. The San Francisco Police Department holds no higher imperative than our promise to build and maintain trust among those we are sworn to safeguard including survivors of sexual assault. We are committed to thoroughly reviewing our practices and policies relating to the collection and use of DNA evidence and welcome any changes that help us reaffirm our strategy statement of ‘safety with respect for all.”