MONTREAL – A notorious police constable has been suspended after becoming involved, once again, in an aggressive exchange captured on video.
The officer best known in Montreal as “No. 728,” in reference to her badge number, will be temporarily sidelined pending a disciplinary investigation, the local police chief announced Thursday.
The officer, Const. Stefanie Trudeau, first rose to local prominence earlier this year when video surfaced of her generously pepper-spraying a crowd of student protesters who appeared to pose no threat.
This week new video surfaced of a forceful, profanity-laced arrest during a dispute that started with a man drinking a beer outdoors. She was also recorded in a profanity-laced conversation making derogatory comments about “artists,” among other people.
Montreal’s police chief Marc Parent apologized Thursday to anyone slighted by the comments.
“I felt it was important, in the name of the employees of the Montreal police and in my own name, to apologize to the different people targeted in comments by the police officer,” Parent said.
“These comments are completely unacceptable, intolerable and do not reflect our values.”
He said the officer is suspended during an internal disciplinary investigation, which he promised will be completed quickly.
Trudeau, known as “No. 728,” was initially relegated to desk duty after video of the Oct. 2 incident was broadcast by Radio-Canada.
The video shows a man complaining that the arrest of his friend is unnecessary. Within seconds, he is put in a headlock, dragged down the stairs while in a choke hold, and forcefully handcuffed.
One of the cellphones confiscated by the officer then records her subsequent conversation with a superior, apparently without her knowledge.
The recording captures references to “rats” who are “guitar-plucking” arts and who wear red squares, the symbol of Quebec’s student-protest movement. There is also talk about choking a suspect, along with a string of unprintable epithets.
Three men and a woman face charges of obstructing police and from the incident but they told Radio-Canada they have no idea why they were targeted or detained.
Trudeau is already facing an ethics investigation over the pepper-spray incident during Quebec’s springtime protests.
A demonstration against Trudeau is being planned for tomorrow night in Montreal, where participants will call for her permanent dismissal from the force