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UK Women After Cop Charged With Murder: 'Enough Is Enough'

Widespread harassment cited as police officer Wayne Couzens is accused of killing Sarah Everard
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 13, 2021 6:30 AM CST

(Newser) – The Metropolitan Police officer suspected of killing Sarah Everard has been hit with murder and kidnapping charges. Wayne Couzens, accused of abducting the 33-year-old marketing executive as she walked home from a friend's house in London on March 3, will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Saturday, reports the Independent. The charges come "following a referral of evidence by the Metropolitan Police," says the head of special crime at Crown Prosecution Service, the government agency responsible for prosecuting criminal cases. The Sun reports that Couzens' wife, Elena, was also detained on suspicion of assisting an offender, but she was later let out on bail. Everard's remains were found on March 10 in a wooded area in Kent. Couzens had been on the force for about two and a half years, police say, and had faced allegations of exposing himself at a fast-food eatery, just days before Everard disappeared.

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The Wall Street Journal notes that Everard's case has brought to the forefront a "wave of women's safety concerns" in not only London, but all of the UK. What's causing extra dismay about what happened to Everard is the fact that she did what women are often taught to do to minimize risk—she wore bright clothing, called another friend to let her know she was on her way, kept to streets that had plenty of lighting—and yet she was still snatched and killed, allegedly by a cop. Other women recount their own incidents of being harassed, and how they have to take many of those safety measures, too. "Sarah Everard has reignited the fire within us much like George Floyd did—enough is enough," Labour MP Rosie Duffield says, referencing the Black Lives Matter protests that took place after Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police. (Read more murder stories.)

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