If you're outraged by the "not guilty" verdict handed down today in the trial of two NYPD officers accused of raping a drunk East Village woman in her home, there will be a demonstration Friday outside the Manhattan Criminal Court building at 100 Centre Street. It's set to take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and the organizers have posted this message on their Facebook page:

On Thursday May 26, New York police officers Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata were found not guilty of charges that Moreno raped a woman in her apartment while Mata kept guard, despite the fact that the amount of evidence against the officers in this case was overwhelming. Instead, the jury convicted both officers of official misconduct for entering the woman’s apartment, but found them not guilty of all other charges, including burglary and falsifying business records. This despite the fact that one of the officers had been recorded on tape admitting to using a condom when having sex with the woman who made the accusation. The cornerstone of the defense required that the woman was too drunk to have a credible account of the incident, but sober enough to consent to sex.

Join us in protest. Because raping a drunk women while on patrol is more than “official misconduct”. Because calling 911 should not be an invitation to be raped. Because NO behavior, including being drunk, is an invitation to be raped. Because rapists do not deserve the protection of our tax-funded police department and city officials. Because we recognize this incident as part of the NYPD's long, horrific history of violence - sexual and otherwise - often and disproportionately against people of color. Because the people of NYC will not accept victim-blaming, cronyism, and a culture of silence that allows rapists to roam free, without consequence.

Reactions to the verdict across the Internet have ranged from revulsion to relief. On the CBS 2 website, one commenter invoked the infamous Duke lacrosse rape fiasco, in which several students were falsely accused of rape: "Thank goodness for a sane jury! This case was a repeat of the Duke lacrosse case: A couple of lying hose monsters falsely accusing men of rape for a pay day. This broad belongs behind bars, period. Granted, cops used horrible judgment, and should look for another line of work, but they were not rapists. Hats off to the jury." On the NYPD Rant message board, one likely law enforcement member writes, "So they are fired and 'could' get minor jail time. Someone post that lawyers phone number! I want to keep it handy if I ever get jammed up."

On the other side of the spectrum, Julie Klausner writes on Twitter, "Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata: you can change jobs, but you'll always be the Rape Cops. Wish Brad Pitt could brand you, INGLORIOUS style." Also on Twitter, Shelby Knocks writes, "To the young woman brave enough to bring charges against the cops: we believe you, we stand with you. We should take to the streets." (Just not tonight?)

Update (9/9/11): Gothamist has published a long-form feature about the Rape Cop case, written by one of the jurors. It takes you behind the scenes during their deliberations, and explains how they came to their controversial verdict. Buy it today as a PDF or on Kindle.