A dashboard camera caught two Austin, Texas police officers discussing a woman who walked near them and joking about rape.
In the video, the officers are conversing and joking about work, when one officer notices a woman walking by.
The first officer says, “Look at that girl over there.”
The second cop then blows a whistle and says, “Go ahead and call the cops. They can’t un-rape you.”
Both officers seem to laugh, and then the first officer says, “You didn’t turn your camera off, did you?”
The second officer then repeats, “They can’t un-rape you.”
The Free Thought Project found the video on YouTube, which went up on Thursday.
Austin radio station KXAM asked the police about the video, but the department had been unaware of the video before then.
“Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. The attitude and commentary depicted within this video are not consistent with the level of professionalism we expect of our officers and does not represent the values of the Austin Police Department,” they said in an initial statement.
The Austin Police Department then confirmed to KXAM on Friday that the video was real. They released a statement announcing an investigation and apologizing for the officers behavior:
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. APD extends a heartfelt apology to all victims of sexual assault. The comments made by the officers are contrary to the long-standing commitment of the Department to bring compassionate justice to sexual assault victims.
The officers have been identified as Mark Lyttle and Michael Castillo, according to KXAM.
Attorney Drew Gibbs released a statement on Friday explaining that he found the conversation when reviewing video for a client and posted the video to YouTube.
“The Carlson Law Firm obtained this video as a part of our standard investigation of a motor vehicle collision. The comments on the video struck me as inappropriate and I chose to allow the court of public opinion to decide if they agreed. Arguably even more inappropriate than the rape joke made by the police officer was the other officer’s initial reaction, which was to hope that the video camera was not rolling,” Gibbs said in a statement.
Watch the video: