Ottawa police cut off woman's bra after arrest - CTV News
Ottawa's police chief says he understands the community's shock following the release of a jailhouse surveillance video that shows officers hitting a detained woman and cutting her shirt and bra off with scissors.
But Chief Vern White asked that the public remain patient as officials probe the case, which occurred more than two years ago but is only now becoming a public relations nightmare for the Ottawa Police Service.
The video of the Sept. 6, 2008 incident was recently made public after the Ottawa Citizen sought its release with a court order. The woman in the video, Stacy Bonds, was kneed by Special Const. Melanie Morris and later held to the floor by a group of officers.
On the surveillance video, Sgt. Steve Desjourdy is later seen cutting off Bonds' bra and shirt with a pair of scissors.
"I understand that Ottawa residents will be shocked by the video," said Chief White, who said that the Special Investigations Unit is investigating the incident.
Bonds was arrested during an incident which unfolded as she walked along a central Ottawa street.
When officers scanned Bonds' name through their cruiser computer, they found that she had no outstanding offences and no criminal record. Officers let her go, but when Bonds inquired about why she had been stopped in the first place, she was arrested for public intoxication, according to court documents.
While in custody, Bonds' head was jerked violently and she later soiled herself. With her shirt cut off, Bonds was taken to a cell and left there for several hours. She was later charged with assaulting a police officer.
Last month, a judge stayed that charge, following revelations of how Bonds had been treated while in custody. The judge in the case, Justice Richard Lajoie, said that the treatment was an offense to human dignity.
"As the Chief of Police, I was very concerned by the comments made by Justice Lajoie in court last October 29th and I immediately ordered an investigation by our Professional Standards Section to review our procedures as well as our officers' actions," White's statement said.
"We will not be making further comments on this matter nor the release of a video by the court, until such time as the SIU investigation is completed."
I would seriously like to hear their explanation justifying them cutting off her shirt and bra and aggressively attacking her as they did.... and I'd also like to know why they reacted as they did when she asked why they bothered to stop her in the first place, which is in her full right to ask and get an answer for..... not get treated like some animal.
Public intoxication is a last ditch grab to find some justification for what they did to her and if they let her keep walking, she would have probably have headed home or to some friend's place and life would have gone on...... plenty of people are actually intoxicated while in public and not stopped or arrested, unless of course they were causing some kind of disturbance or threat to the community..... but from what I heard so far, she posed no threat to anybody.
And regardless if she was publicly intoxicated or not, is that enough justification to treat someone the way they did and take away any shred of dignity she had left by practically ripping off her shirt and bra, putting her in a position where she ends up pissing herself and then leave her in that state for several hours?
Based on the above descriptions on what they did to her, I can't believe to god damn gall they have to charge her for assaulting a police officer..... if that sh*t was done to me, chances are I'd be making sure I had a few charges of assaulting a police officer, because nobody has the damn right to do that to someone..... they're not fk'n gods and whoever is in their custody are still fk'n human beings ffs.