The Austin Police Department has launched an internal investigation after dash cam footage showed two police officers joking with each other about raping a woman. Sigh.
In the footage from May 24, the two officers are shooting the shit about their day, discussing a fender bender they had just handled and how "shit would get real for the bad guys." Then, a woman walked by their cruiser, and their response? Blowing a whistle. And then, via The Free Thought Project (at about the 1:00 mark in the video above):
Officer 1: Look at that girl over there.
Officer 2: (blows whistle) Go ahead and call the cops. They can't unrape you. (laughter)
Officer 1: You didn't turn your camera off, did you?
Officer 2: They can't unrape you.
The video was found by a lawyer investigating the same fender bender the two cops handled. Raw Story reports:
"The Carlson Law Firm obtained this video as a part of our standard investigation of a motor vehicle collision," Gibbs said in a statement. "The comments on the video struck me as inappropriate and I chose to allow the court of public opinion to decide if they agreed."
The Austin Police Department has since verified the video and released a statement, saying:
The Austin Police Department has validated the video/audio publicly released pursuant to the Texas Open Records Act. The officers in the video/audio have been identified as Austin Police officers. Upon learning of the video's contents, the Department immediately launched an internal investigation. The investigation will include a comprehensive audit of the involved officers' contacts with victims of sexual assault to ensure the actions taken during the contacts meet the expectations of the Department, the public and most importantly, the victims. Upon conclusion of the investigation, the Department will take appropriate corrective action.
Both the officers in the video are still on duty. Let the excuses begin: It was just a joke. It was a personal conversation (as Officer 2 suggests). That's just one bad example of cops. THIS IS ALL JUST PART OF THE FAMINAST CONSPIRACY.
No. Obviously I don't think all cops would make such a comment. But the comment itself is fucking gross and awful, and the fact that the person was a police officer who holds authority and joked about taking advantage of that authority to sexually assault someone is absolutely disgusting, particularly in light of cases like that of Officer Daniel Holtzclaw, currently being held at $5 million bail for the sexual assault of eight women. Or Officer Sean Harrington who stole nude photos from DUI arrestees' phones and shared it with their colleagues. Or Officer Geoffry Graves who raped a woman he escorted to a hotel after she called 911 over a domestic disturbance. Or the family court marshal Ron Fox who ordered a woman in court for a divorce case into a waiting room for a random drug search and assaulted her. Or the LAPD officers Luis Valenzuela and James Nichols who raped women they had previously arrested or used as informants, threatening jail time if they did not comply.
The officer who said that the cops "can't un-rape you" did not sexually assault the woman who walked by the cruiser—not that she should have to be thankful that a cop did not attack her, a citizen. But his comment shows he also enjoys the benefits of such a perversion of power that allows women to be sexually assaulted at the hands of legal authority figures. And maybe nothing will come of the investigation, but launching it in the first place goes to show that the Austin Police Department takes the matter pretty seriously.