The recent partial government shutdown got a LOT of press, in part because it was the longest one on record, and partly because the resulting fall out was widespread in the view of some. Between the damage done to national parks, federal employees visiting food banks to make ends meet, and “essential employees” (like federal prison guards) being required to work with paychecks being temporarily delayed, the Republican/Democrat standoff was unprecedented.
Some of the FBI’s work came to a standstill during the shutdown.
A 72-page report published recently by the The FBI Agents Association (FBIAA) outlined some of the greatest problems faced by agents working in the field as a result of the partial shutdown. Operations involving drug and gang crimes, counterterrorism efforts, and other matters of national security were all allegedly put at great risk. However the issue of greatest concern, according to the report, were the children’s lives that were jeopardised. We’re mindful that the FBIAA functions much like a labor union so we’re not taking the stance that they present an unbiased version of the actual circumstances. They are, after all, advocates for the members (as well they should be).
The most vulnerable victims of the stalled investigations were the children.
According to the FBIAA, one of their biggest concerns was the number of sex crimes against minors that went uninvestigated. The lack of funding that usually keeps the FBI up and running affected many cases that were in progress, abruptly suspending surveillance on suspects, stalling grand jury indictments for child sexual assault prosecutions, and delaying interviews of child victims. However, most investigations and prosecutions are done at the state level rather than the federal level, and those were not in any way affected by the temporary, partial government shutdown.
The report included current FBI agent’s experiences.
The agent’s association report, entitled “Voices From The Field,” was a collection of stories from active FBI agents detailing how the shutdown had affected their work. One agent noted that “FBI offices … are having investigations stalled, to include delayed forensic interviews of child victims and delaying grand jury indictments on homicides and child sexual assault prosecutions. Our child victims deserve timely interviews to increase successful preservation of their testimony.”
This is only one side of the story…
It sounds terrible to say that child victims were put at risk, and that’s because it is terrible! Children who are victims of sexual assault need immediate protection and assistance. But that should also apply to all victims of sexual assault. However, when you consider the number of rape kits that go untested in crime labs around the country every year, it puts this brief delay in investigations into a completely different light.
We deal with sex crime allegations on a regular basis
The skilled defense attorneys in our offices has worked on both sides of sex assault cases. On the one hand, we’ve filed successful lawsuits against molesters and rapists on behalf of their victims, while on the other hand, we have decades of experience representing defendants in Michigan that have been charged with rape, molesation and sex assault.
We can be reached 24/7 at 1 866 766 5245.