Dutch cop could face dismissal over racist comments in video recorded in Paris
The police have finished investigating six cops who appeared in a video in which people in a van make racist remarks about passersby as the van drives through Paris. One police officer is facing dismissal, one is facing probation, two got a written reprimand, and two got formal warnings, the Oost Nederlands police reported.
The video, recorded while the cops were off duty and in Paris with friends to watch a football match, circulated online in March and caused quite a commotion. The police suspended the officers in question while they did a disciplinary investigation. The Public Prosecution Service (OM) already announced the cops wouldn’t be prosecuted - while the remarks were inappropriate, the setting in which they happened doesn't constitute a criminal offense.
The police’s disciplinary investigation has now concluded. According to the police, two involved cops made discriminatory or racist remarks. For example, one said: “Do you want more or less,” referring to PVV leader Geert Wilders’ statements about Moroccans that got him convicted of hate speech. The other responded by chanting, “fewer, fewer.” One also agreed with someone else’s comment that it was like they were driving through a zoo.
“A police officer is expected to treat citizens with respect and without prejudices, not to stir up contradiction and - not unimportantly - also contribute to the trust in the police organization,” the police said. “The statements that have been made are at odds with this.”
One of these two cops faces dismissal, partly due to previous disciplinary measures against him. The other may be put on probation and transferred to another team. He also has to perform work outside the police on the theme of diversity and inclusion, the police said. An advisory committee still needs to approve these disciplinary measures. “However, given the passage of time and the considerable impact of this case, it has been decided to communicate these two proposed sentences now.”
Two other police officers, who both have leadership duties within their team, received a written reprimand as punishment. “They took no action to stop the inappropriate comments. Their statements also gave rise to more border-crossing statements. This constitutes a dereliction of duty,” the police said. The other two cops received a formal warning. “Although they did not take any action to stop the border-crossing statements, no dereliction has been established in their case.”