Protest over NYPD rape trial verdict

May 27, 2011 8:13:38 PM PDT
There is clearly fallout over the outcome of this trial as several hundred feminists and supporters took to the streets in Lower Manhattan to protest.

There is anger. There is outrage over the verdict: Two NYPD officers acquitted of rape charges in a closely watched two month trial.

"It's to express outrage, but it's more to use the verdict as a catalyst to get New Yorkers talking about how we can better combat rape and sexual assault in our communities," protestor Jill Filpovic said.

That verdict, largely in favor of former NYPD officers Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata, found them guilty only on misdemeanor official misconduct charges. The men all along claimed a rape did not occur.

"My intentions were, from the beginning just to help her," Moreno said on Thursday.

"Cuddled her was the terminology he used while she was nearly naked. That is wildly inappropriate behavior. She was intoxicated and wasn't able consent to that," Filpovic said.

Moreno and Mata are seen in security camera video with the victim, helping her up to her apartment.

The officers admitted they came back several times to check on her that night.

"The NYPD must institute concrete changes to deal with sexual assault and harassment in their ranks," said one protestor.

"I think it's important that we make this a society toward being a community that doesn't have to fear letting our guard down and needing help," said another.

Both officers have been fired from the force.

The protestors marched to one police plaza where they came face to face with barricades and a line of officers.

Later taking to the streets and surrounded by police on motorcycles, the protestors wound their way through Lower Manhattan during rush hour, spreading their message.