On April 2, shortly after midnight, a young couple was attacked in their tent by Eric Kwame Adam X., a 31-year-old skilled rape laborer, from Ghana. The African Merkel-guest beat on their tent with a pruning saw, threatened them both with death, then pulled the 23-year-old woman out of the tent with a charming “come out, bitch” and raped her brutally. Now the violent “protection seeker” is facing trial, and the prosecution has revealed something that is scarcely believable: The female officer who took the call for help that night from Patrick B., the boyfriend of the woman who was being raped, did not take him seriously. Instead of an inherent need to help him and his raped girlfriend, Patrick received the snotty answer: “Are you trying to punk me?”
According to a report by the Rheinischen Post, the prosecution described the entire incident as follows: The desperate young man, seeking help, explained to the policewoman from the Bonn police: “My girlfriend is being raped right now by a black man.” In the background the crying of the young woman could be heard. The not-very-convinced police officer replied, “So someone is attacking your girlfriend, or what?” Patrick answered, “He has a machete!” The “empathetic” officer was obviously either overly challenged or completely indifferent, and she answered: “Are you trying to punk me?” The caller assured the officer, saying: “No, no!” He said he was afraid that the attacker would kill his girlfriend any second. The officer asked Patrick for his name and then said that she was sending someone right away. Then she just hung up with a simple “Thanks, bye”, and left the victims alone to face their attacker, even though in the background one could clearly hear that the rape was still going on while he was on the phone.
The young man again called 911, but again he was quickly put off. A spokesperson for the police attempted to excuse this occurrence by saying that, “The responding officer at the control centre according to our assessment classified the first call wrongly, and she reacted in a linguistically inappropriate manner.”
At least a public manhunt was immediately undertaken using a composite sketch. It was thanks to this that an alert woman recognized Kwame X., and he could be arrested a few days later.
The “urgently needed skilled laborer” should have already been deported on March 17th. But a lawyer had prevented this by filing charges against the rejected asylum decision.
The court proceedings against the son of a cocoa plantation owner in Takoradi are scheduled to begin in September. The man from Ghana, however, denies that he was the attacker.
And now the discussion has turned to how empathetic officers are supposed to react when they answer 911 calls. “A different way of handling the call would not have prevented the crime,” says Frank Piontek, a spokesman for the Bonn Police. Well, that might be true. Also it may be said that when there is a call in the middle of the night in which the topic is a dark machete-man, then just a few short years ago this call would have been met with a dose of skepticism. But meanwhile the machete-wielding beheaders have arrived here too, and that should have been noted, especially by the police.
In any case, it would be the duty of an officer to stay on the phone with a person who fears for the life of his girlfriend, not just in order to give the caller a feeling of safety and reassure that help is on the way, but also to listen and to hear what is happening on the phone in the background. An audio analysis of the call from the noise in the background could be of great importance in order to find the attacker. “Thanks, bye”, was under no circumstances an acceptable reaction.
This is not the first time that an officer has not taken a call from a victim serious, that the officer was either unwilling or unable to assess the situation properly. Even if there is a notable lack of personnel, this level of professionalism should be the least that citizens could expect of the police.