The French government has condemned the actions of a Parisian police officer who was suspended after he was allegedly recorded saying a Parisian teacher who had filed a sexual assault complaint was a “whore”.
Lawyers and rights groups reacted with outrage after a recording of the police officer repeatedly insulting the woman and questioning her case was posted on investigative website Mediapart.
The policeman has not been named.
The 34-year-old teacher, named in the media Elodie, had called the police in the early hours of Saturday February 5 to report that she had been sexually assaulted by a stranger who grabbed her on a street in central Paris. She was questioned by officers and the suspect was arrested and questioned.
Later that day, another officer called the woman’s phone from the police station. He left a message saying he needed to speak to the woman about the case.
But he didn’t hang up his phone properly. The woman’s answering machine recorded him for more than three minutes joking with colleagues in the office suggesting the woman was likely to be sleeping hungover and the matter made no sense. It was recorded many times saying she was a “to put” – a “big fat whore” – who was just trying to make life difficult for the man.
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said it was right that the officer was suspended and that his actions sullied the entire force.
The Paris police headquarters said it had requested an independent investigation. “No offensive or abusive behavior will be tolerated by a police officer towards a victim,” he said in a statement, adding that he was working to improve his policy towards victims of sexual violence. and domestics.
The feminist group Osez le Féminisme questioned the work environment of the police officer. He said: “How is it that a police officer feels entitled to speak thus of a victim in front of his colleagues? What work environment could allow him to think that he could do it with impunity?
The group added: “How many other times has a woman been called a very big whore by the police officer in charge of her case without it being recorded? How can you expect an impartial treatment of a complaint when the police call you a whore?