The commander of Nova Scotia’s RCMP, or Royal Canadian Mounted Police, is apologizing to a victim of domestic violence after officers accidentally left a message on the woman’s voicemail mocking her abuse allegations (audio below).
The initial domestic violence complaint happened after the woman and her boyfriend got into an argument and he left with her cellphone. She was worried that he would make harassing phone calls to her family and friends, so she went to retrieve it from him, and that’s when the physical abuse took place.
The woman contacted police and filed a report, and some time after, the inadvertent phone call by officers happened. According to reports, an officer had his cellphone in his pocket and mistakenly dialed the woman’s home. She did not answer, but the voicemail did pick up, and the officers were recorded mocking the woman’s claims.
"The way she was talking she was very nonchalant about everything," said one officer on the recording.
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"She said it was from the fucking door jamb or something like that, on the door," said another officer, adding, “It's fucking foolish."
"So did she deserve to get hit?" asked an officer.
When the woman eventually heard the message on her voicemail, she immediately called the RCMP and filed a complaint.
"I was ashamed to be a female from Nova Scotia," said the anonymous woman. "How could I do my own job to advise people to contact the RCMP for help? When it was clearly apparent that there was no help to be had. We're not in the '70s. We are in 2014. People need to learn that when they get paid to do a public service, they need to actually do their jobs and not be Neanderthals. That's exactly what I feel like I've been dealing with. Not only my partner but with the RCMP, the local RCMP, I'm appalled and stunned.”
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Responding to fallout from the accidental voicemail, RCMP Chief Brian Brennan said that the comments made by the officers were completely inappropriate.
"The RCMP has zero tolerance for this type of behaviour," said Brennan. "As the commanding officer, I was extremely disappointed. The comments on this recording in no way reflect the core values of the RCMP. It's not how I want our members to be talking in terms of victims and domestic violence.”
The RCMP has reportedly met with the woman and apologized to her for the incident. They also confirmed that the woman’s boyfriend has been charged with assault.