Birmingham woman Venita Kimber, 46, is facing additional charges after accusing a police officer of raping her during her arrest. She has been charged with making a false report to law enforcement, in addition to charges of a DUI, leaving the scene of an accident and escape. On January 24th, police responded to an accident report in the 6000 block of Ivy Street, where the driver of a Dodge Avenger had hit three cars and a pole before fleeing the scene. Police identified the Avenger parked near the scene at 6013 Ivy St, and proceeded to arrest Kimber for driving under the influence and fleeing the scene of an accident. The arrest occurred in front of multiple witnesses. She was taken to the UAB Hospital in the police cruiser to be "checked out." At the hospital, she informed a nurse that she had been raped at the scene of the arrest. Kimber was then transferred to SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners) to have a rape kit performed.
After her brief hospital sojourn, Kimber was escorted to police headquarters where a detective interviewed her. She persisted with allegations that a rape had occurred during the arrest. The detective then confronted her with video evidence that showed otherwise. In both body camera and in-car footage, Kimber is arrested and placed in the back of the cruiser until arriving at the hospital. Upon viewing the video, Kimber stated that she lied about the rape incident. According to police spokesman Lt. Sean Edwards, she admitted to fabricating rape allegations due to her disgruntlement at being arrested. Police chief AC Roper said he was pleased to see the officer immediately exonerated by the videos, thereby hammering home the importance of police body cameras. He added "Her accusation could have destroyed this officer's life, family, and career, and caused damage to our department and our relationship with the community we serve. In fact, her false accusation is a total affront to the many women who are sexually assaulted and deal with the doubt and skepticism regarding their story."
Body cameras have been critical in holding both officers and the accused accountable during encounters. Previously, those involved in these types of incidences would have been forced to rely on the presence of witnesses, witness testimony, and otherwise been embattled in He-said-She-said rhetoric. Body cameras have been lauded by Washington DC mayor Muriel Bowser, who oversaw a 10% reduction in violent crime last year. Body camera footage in DC is fed into community listservs, where residents of a particular area are frequently able to aid law enforcement by identifying the perpetrators of a crime. Body cameras have seen false allegations dramatically cut down, however, fostering a culture of accountability on both sides remains of the utmost importance.
If you have been accused of a DUI in Gwinnett County, Georgia, do not hesitate to Gwinnett County DUI Attorney Richard Lawson for a free consultation of your case.