NYPD Blues

May 31, 2011

Recently, two NYC cops were acquitted of raping an intoxicated woman. The jury felt they did not have enough evidence to convict. There were holes in both versions of the story. The cops were instead charged with misconduct and subsequently fired from the police force. So why was there so much doubt in this case? Alcohol. It was the main reason why the details were so fuzzy. And any time alcohol and questionable behavior are present, it sends up the red flag for some sort of personality disorder. This red flag is seen in the cops as well as their alleged victim.

Even if he didn’t rape the woman, the police officer’s behavior is disturbing to say the least. But so much attention has been placed on him, almost nothing is known about the accuser. Her behavior is just as questionable. How do we know she’s innocent? Did she really flirt with the officer? Are there signs they are both struggling with alcoholism? Does she show signs of a personality disorder? Because this is just the type of thing that happens to people stuggling with alcoholism and PDs. Inappropriate behavior and a lack of boundaries is quite common with these people. Nobody wants to hear this but alcoholics put themselves in compromising situations all the time.

In the security video, she was seen stumbling into the building with the officers. So she wasn’t totally out of it. Quite frankly, I have seen this pattern of behavior before. I know this type. The type that has a hard time controlling their alcohol and their sexual impulses. The type that has a long history of getting themselves into compromising situations. And then when they realize what they’ve done, they look for a way to make themselves look like the poor helpless victim. The type that is desperate for attention, the wrong kind of attention. The cops demonstrated troubling behavior, but if she is guilty of false accusations of rape that is just as troubling.

I’m not surprised that alcoholism plays a major role in this case. As most addictions specialists know- where there is alcoholism, there is most likely a personality disorder and a history of childhood abuse. This is the Unholy Trinity: alcohol abuse, personality disorders and childhood abuse. People who have suffered from all three are much more likely to be victimized. But it also creates doubt.When the Trinity is present, it brings everything into question because questionable behavior is the hallmark of the Trinity. You are talking about a person who has a tendency to get themselves into trouble. It’s tragic but true.

Unfortunately, both rape and allegations of rape are common when there is a history of sexual abuse and alcoholism. That should not be shocking news. But it’s not usually the kind of rape where a stranger pulls you into an alley way. Or the kind of sexual assault that Lara Logan experienced in Egypt. It is predominantly acquaintance rape and it is often under the influence of alcohol. And that is the kind that always leaves questions.

It is not hard to believe that the NYPD cop and the drunk woman might have established some rapport before the alleged rape. The common history of alcohol abuse and disordered behavior creates instant bonds. In a strange way they are “soulmates” because they are both troubled souls. But when you are dealing with troubled souls, you are dealing with people who can’t always be trusted to tell the truth.

It is not unusual for someone afflicted with the Trinity to engage in risky sexual acts and later have mixed emotions about it. It is not unusual for an alcoholic to have sex and not remember if they’ve given consent, especially since black outs and denial are how many survivors deal with sexual abuse. It is also not unusual for a survivor of childhood abuse to misinterpret sexual encounters. Nor is it unusual for these survivors to create a rape story as a means to cope with past feelings of shame and anger. Such behavior is well-documented.

To be honest, I don’t know enough details about the case to make this call. But the red flags are there. The patterns of dysfunctional behavior are there. You can see why the jury had such a hard time with this case. When you are dealing with alcohol abuse, there are all sorts of things that create reasonable doubt. While I can understand the outrage over this decision, it does nothing to prevent this sort of thing from happening again and again.


4 Responses to “NYPD Blues”

  1. savorydish said

    “BPD is more about emotional instability and fear of abandonment that leads to highly destructive behaviors within interpersonal relationships. However, although a “victim complex” is not part of the disorder, many BPD sufferers do associate themselves as a “victim”. This could be because many people with BPD did actually suffer abuse during early stages of their development so they project it into their current lives and see themselves as a constant victim in current relationships. Also, people with BPD “split” which means that they see the world in terms of “black” & “white” or all evil and all good. Since they see themselves as “all good” this leaves much of the rest of the world as “black” or all evil, which in turn makes them in fear of always being a victim. In addition, always placing themselves into a “victim” role allows them to gain a lot of sympathy from others.


  2. savorydish said

    The question we should be asking is- Why do certain people attract predators?

  3. savorydish said

    It would seem that Stephanie Hallett has become the resident expert on questionable behavior over at Ms Magazine.


    But I would question her expertise as most of her stories seem to leave out the discussion of personality disorders, PTSD and alcohol abuse.

    She has a tendency to portray women as helpless victims of circumstance and “rape culture”. I thought feminism was about empowerment, not learned helplessness.

    Hallett often steers clear of examining the person behind the claims of victimhood. She avoids talk of self-awareness and personal responsibility. She has no concept of person growth. If these women have been victimized, shouldn’t treatment be their first priority?

    What good is all this petition signing business? Is this some new age cure of PTSD that I am uneducated about? What good is replaying the past if nothing is learned?

    It leads me to wonder if there is an ulterior motive in her coverage. Is this journalism? Or is this propaganda? And if it is propaganda, what is her agenda? Is she re-writing the past with every blog post? The plot thickens.

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