Fullilove infuriated by backlogged rape kits, sends letter to TB - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Fullilove infuriated by backlogged rape kits, sends letter to TBI seeking information

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Councilwoman Janis Fullilove sent a letter to the TBI's director seeking, among other things, information about how long ago the agency knew about untested kits. Councilwoman Janis Fullilove sent a letter to the TBI's director seeking, among other things, information about how long ago the agency knew about untested kits.
Fullilove says, thus far, she still hasn't gotten all of the answers she needs regarding thousands of untested rape kits. Fullilove says, thus far, she still hasn't gotten all of the answers she needs regarding thousands of untested rape kits.

(WMC-TV) - A Memphis city councilwoman is calling for answers from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation regarding thousands of untested rape kits.

Councilwoman Janis Fullilove sent a letter to the TBI's director seeking, among other things, information about how long ago the agency knew about untested kits.

"We have heard that there have been 12 years that these rape kits have been sitting on shelves, and that infuriated me," said Fullilove.

Fullilove says, thus far, she still hasn't gotten all of the answers she needs regarding thousands of untested rape kits.

"And I'm not going to stop until we get the answers," she said.

Fullilove sent a letter Wednesday to TBI Director Mark Gwyn requesting more information on when the TBI offered to test kits for the city.

It said in part, "Whether the City of Memphis has ever refused any opportunity or returned any funds for the purpose of processing back logged rape kits."

Fullilove shared a memo with Action News 5 from 2003 in which Gwyn himself, the then-assistant TBI director, encouraged law enforcement agencies across the state to inventory evidence rooms and submit untested DNA cases.

"I know [someone dropped the ball many years ago], and you know they did, and everybody looking at me knows they did, and they need to be held accountable," said Fullilove.

Fullilove mentioned former District Attorney Bill Gibbons and MPD Director Larry Godwin by name, though Gibbons called it the result of a "systematic failure."

Neither individuals have commented extensively on the rape kit controversy.

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