After Hurricane Sandy, the NYPD was pretty pessimistic about the state of two evidence warehouses in Brooklyn, with Ray Kelly delivering a loaded "We'll see." The New York Times has more details today about the facilities in Red Hook and Greenpoint — each containing thousands of barrels of DNA evidence, along with "narcotics items" and firearms — and it still doesn't look good.
The buildings are currently contaminated with raw sewage and not safe to enter, and six recent criminal trials have already been lacking physical evidence because of the storm.
"This is likely to be the tip of the iceberg," said Steven Banks of the Legal Aid Society, who called the situation "a recipe for wrongful convictions." For help, the NYPD is looking to New Orleans, where Hurricane Katrina had a similar effect. But seven years later, according to an overseer of evidence down there, "We're still dealing with this stuff ourselves."