Stacy Bonds on police abuse: listen and marvel

The make-up artist abused by Ottawa police may become a hero


 

Would anybody blame Stacy Bonds—the Ottawa theatrical makeup artist who was arrested for no good reason by the city’s police, then abused in custody in the most outrageous manner—if she suspected the fact that she’s black influenced her mistreatment? Would anybody think Bonds, 27, was out of line if she roundly denounced the cops?

Yet in her first interview since this episode came to light, she does neither. “I don’t want to make it into a big black-white issue,” she tells the Ottawa Citizen’s Gary Dimmock. “I think it’s more an issue of questioning authority and I’d like to tell people don’t be afraid to ask police questions.”

To those angry at police in general on her behalf, Bonds offers this more balanced thought: “People do need to know that police do abuse their power, and people need to speak out. But there are a lot of great cops out there, too, and people need to know that.”

For anyone who isn’t up on the story, these measured words come from a woman who was questioned by police as she was walking home from a party a couple of years ago, and when she asked why she had been stopped, was arrested. Down at the station, they pulled her hair, kneed her in the back, cut off her clothes, and left her half naked in a cell for hours.

A judge who saw security videotape of the ordeal called what he saw an “indignity,” noted that Bonds showed no sign of violence or aggression, and tossed out the absurd charges against her. Ottawa Police Chief Vern White has called the sordid incident appalling. The officers involved are being investigated by a provincial government agency.

Bonds seems reticent about the spotlight, which is, of course, fine. She didn’t choose to be a public figure. But if she keeps talking in the dignified, admirable way she does in today’s Citizen story, we might have no choice but to make her a bit of hero.


 
Filed under:

Stacy Bonds on police abuse: listen and marvel

  1. It does appear to be an example of how these things need to work themselves out. Instead of projecting personal agenda items onto a siutation we know next to nothing about directly, allowing the process to unfold without hysteria or unfounded incriminations. Would that more issues were dealt with in this manner.

    Given the apparent indiginities she suffered, Ms Bonds is setting a good example of calm maturity I hope others will emulate.

    • What process. Schoosl have no third party investigation. Hospitals have no third party invetigations in wrong doing. The police investigate themselves…heck the police chief was well aware of this and I bet he has not bothered to go over the tapes….oh my what are the odds all the tapes in that jail house will disappear. Heck that is what they have been doing with video tapes across Ontario for years.

    • "a situation we know next to nothing about directly"
      huh?? I think not:
      * video evidence we all see (though not the most cop-incriminating parts, mind)
      * one petite very demure looking person against how many burly cops
      * context of cops constantly abusing their authority (G20, Ian Bush, Tasers, etc. etc) against vulnerable people

      • Hey, I'm not trying to downplay what we see. From what we see, there's nothing to defend. But we see from a limited viewpoint, with a high angle of deflection, we have no sound and there are gaps in what we see and when we see it.

        I want to be really clear: I am not biased in favour of the cops. Nor am I biased in favour of Ms Bonds, although I am very sympathetic to what has apparently happened to her. My real point is that, in general, many are inclined to fly off the handle without all the facts, in high dudgeon, and ascribe motives to people – usually projecting some bias of their own in the process – and calling for dire consequences.

        As I said, I commend Ms Bonds for her calm maturity in not ascribing motives – remember, she was actually there, not looking at it on a crappy CCTV capture – and, unlike many of the comments on this article, she does not lump all cops in with a few bad apples. That balanced, rational perspective is uncommon these days and I value it.

  2. Another case of police acting more like a gang than protectors of the peace. Perhaps if they were suspended without pay for a change while the investigation is taking place then maybe they might think twice the next time, but so long as there appears to be no real penalties for such behaviour then you can expect increases in that behaviour and also in the distain the police seem to hold for the general public. The increasing number of these incidents points clearly to police culture and perhaps hiring practices being a major problem, but this like so many in the past will likely be sweep under the rug.

    • One police force in the Province was reinatted thanks to his unionand he was order in court not to carry a fire arm. Gee what does thia mean? He has the job of licking all the envelopes with bills for fines…

    • Just like dead beat doctors, teachers and nurses. Whats the big difference. There was a daw in Canadian law where the Grand Jury would inpect prisons now we just have a internal review….dah is there something wrong here….

    • SIU = Sweep It Under. Old police joke.

  3. I look up to her – and her even comments after? That, my friends, is a Canadian. Balanced, thoughtful, not 'shootin from the hip'. Thank you Stacy for the embodiment of everything Canadian – the world needs more people like you.

  4. These officers should be fired, period. They acted with a gang mentality, and obviously do not have what it takes to be 'officers of the law'. Given their jobs back, they will again abuse their uniform. The bigger question remains: how did the Ontario Solicitors office dismiss this case, deeming the actions of the officers justifiable?

    • Exactly. And taking Halo Override's point, without worrying about being in a dangerous situation with people you've pissed off, the prosecution has absolutely no excuse not to have stood up to this and launched a criminal investigation of these police officers, instead of covering up their crime by going after the victim. Where's the investigation into them?

    • Fired? How about arrested. If a group of people kidnapped, stripped and videotaped a young woman in the middle of the night, that would be their fait. They would be put onto a sex offenders registry for the rest of their lives. There is no conceivable way that these thugs thought they were doing police work. There should be an extra charge for hiding behind the badge.

    • They acted like it's something they do all the time.

  5. What about the Crown Prosecutor's role in this? He or she surely neglected their sworn duty by rubber-stamping the Police version of events, even in the face of solid video evidence to the contrary.

  6. pretty easy for you sitting in your armchair, no? What if it was YOUR career, the livelihood of YOUR family on the line, your retirement pension on the line. I'm sick of you armchair warriors that think you have it all figured out – try walking a mile in their shoes…. and then you sum it all up by going after the good guys. What a jerk.

    • If it was my career and my family on the line I would have a difficult decision. But when discussions about unions, minimum wage, benefits, etc., come up in this country, there's a certain faction who like to come out and say "if you don't like it, stand up to it or get another job instead of waiting for sympathy and for someone else to solve your problems for you". There's a goose/gander aphorism to consider there.

      And for the record, I have nothing at all against Ms Bonds reaction or statements, which are admirable and generous.

      Finally, I'm going to let the "jerk" thing slide because your name comes from Bloom County, so we are brothers in a certain sense.

      • OK, so bad cops are bad, and good cops are also bad for letting the bad cops be bad.

        Great logic, Mr. Positive.

        • Actually, "if good cops are so good, why aren't they standing up more to the bad ones?" is quite sensible.

        • Letting bad cops be bad is called "corruption". They are, therefore, corrupt, and not good.

        • Well, letting the bad cops continue to be bad certainly doesn't make the good cops better. Maybe you'd disagree. I'd like to hear why.

    • Careers trump justice, is that your case? But what if it was your body they were kicking and punching, your clothing they were cutting, your soiled pants in a holding cell, would you still excuse their silence? Try enduring a night under their boot and tell us who the jerk is then.

    • I'd like people, usually conservatives, to apply that same logic whenever people expect "moderate Muslims" to be able to quell extremists. Not exactly the easiest proposition, but it's an easy argument to make, especially by the "armchair warrios" of the right.

      • Actually, these cases are entirely dissimilar. Moderate Muslims, while possibly fellow believers, are in no way in the same service or employ as terrorists who chance to call themselves Muslims. Police are not only in the same service and employ as their fellow police, they have the same job – defending the rule of law, while protecting the citizens of their jurisdiction.

        I would have no hesitation in doing my job in the face of intimidation; in fact, attempts to intimidate me are the very things which most inspire the absence of fear in me. If others don't have this reaction, well then, they are free to resign from their positions of special trust – a better solution than remaining within a corrupt service, and thereby supporting its continuation.

  7. Underskill, overkill: that about sums up most police today. They think too little and watch too many movies. Last month in a Coquitlam middle class neighbourhood a young mother was called out of her home and forced to lie face down in the dirt – Do it, do it now! – for over an hour in front of her tearful family, all because of a prank call to the police. Stacy Bonds owes it to herself and to her community to sue the devil out of those cops.

    • In 1793 a young woman screamed and kicked and got a gang pissed off at her. She was so loud that the Governor (Simcoe ) was told by a Black Soldier( who was a former slave) how these thugs tied her up carted her to the Niagara River and rowed her to the American side and sold her into American Slavery. Never to be heard from again.
      Her story made a major impact on early Canada becuase we passed the First Anti-Slavery laws in North British North America…4o years before the British.
      Stacy, dear lady, I hope to God we hear your cry for help and change our schools, our hospitals and our police force so people come first not paper pushing garabage. We have had far to many children of all races commit suicide rather then go to school. We have far to many victims of crime kill themselves….
      Bless your heart young lady.
      I hope that your cries for help will change Ontario Laws so we finally have a third party investigation into this filthy justification for abuse. We have laws before the Ontario Legislation that could make the police force accounable ….but only if enough people speak up. http://www.scribd.com/full/43531596?access_key=ke

  8. Ottawa Police Service is a joke!!! Don't believe? They are in the news weekly being disciplined on Police Services Act charges. A lot of them are egotistical, drunk driving, dead beats, who can't get another job so they become an Ottawa police officer. GET A LIFE!

    • This statement is carzy. The police force don't hire people like this . They hire hockey players who couldn't make it in the NHL. Dah…. the problem is the lack or any form or third party investigation. Call up your Ontario Member of Parliament and ask him or her why they are holding up the Ombudsman from investigating this filth.

  9. Police actions at the G20 will some day be seen as a turning point in Canadian history. The failure to condemn or punish in Toronto offers permission and sanctions the Ottawa offenders.

    • I would argue the tazing death and subsequent cover up at YVR of Robert Dziekanski was the turning point. The G20 offenses are certainly a continuation in that direction.

      • It started at APEC in Vancouver in 1997, when the RCMP violated the right of citizens to engage in peaceful protest ostensably to provide 'security' for state. Those protestors were subjec to pepper spray and police bully tactics. That was only 13 ago. Since then, both Liberal and Conservative governments have enagaged in more and more tactics that reflect a growing police state and a shrinking democracy. The response to 9/11 served as an accelerant in the process. The question we need to address is: what awaits someone like Ms Bonds ten years from now? Fifteen years from now? She should seek remedy and redress through every avenue possible.

        • I agree. But it just seemed that the G20 was planned and organized by the government in advance. while other incidents have sprung from more spontaneous events which revealed the police mindset. Several hundred million dollars was provided to police who were unable to control 200 unarmed violent protestors, but managed to beat up and arrest hundreds of peaceful protestors and bystanders.

  10. cops are just bloody bullies

    dr phil wouldnt like them at all

  11. In Canada no one is obligated to talk to the police when stopped. No one's ID can be demanded from them by police. The cops feel themselves hard done by this Supreme Court ruling but it's the sole sop that the McLachlin court has allowed the citizenry in its whole cop-catering history. Avail yourselves of it!

    • Dah….. what your talking about only applies to hardened crimoinals and lawyers. The rest of us can' t afford a lawyer. The Charter only applies to Criminal and Lawyers, heck ask any liberal they know that ….

    • Umm…. I dont know if that's true, people get stopped by police all the time and have to show their ID, and then the police go into their cruisers and type the person's name in. That happens to members of my family on a regular basis. And do you know what the police will say if you ask why you were stopped, "You look like someone we are looking for fitting your description."

    • That means nothing when you are dealing with a bunch of cops on the street at 2am.

  12. "…especially in this day and age!"

    Not even close. There is no point in history where the police or other government enforcers have been pressured to conform to the laws of the land more than right now. This coming to light is an excellent example of the improvements in legal authority as compared to force of arms. Forty years ago, we don't hear about this; but don't for a second think it wasn't a regular occurrence.

    • I agree with your observations. With the technology and watchdogs and public sensitivity to human rights being where it is, there is a chace of justice being done here that may not have been possible in past eras or in other societies.

      And it seems my post below was drafted at the same time as the one by our friend above. It is that kind of emphatic, overblown rhetoric that ratchets tensions higher and, frankly, make it more difficult for public officials to do the right thing without worrying how their motives will be interpreted. It may well turn out that we find one individual or the other has a demonstrated, provable problem and that they should be disciplined in a certain way. But to immediately jump to certian conclusions and emphatically offer the "only" solution isn't helpful, in my opinion.

      • You obviously value sober second thought, and that's not wrong. However, I am more than tired of paying people to work for me who are afraid to report the wrongdoing that is so obviously occurring under their noses, or to make sensible decisions REGARDLESS of how their motives may appear.

        If someone wants a job in public life so badly that he has no time or judgment for the JOB, I don't want him in it. If a police officer, with gun, taser, nightstick and all, is afraid to stand up for the law or the fellow human under the next cop's boot, I don't want him carrying a gun for me!

        I know that this view seems a bit sharp in this day and age – people want their jobs, after all – but really, don't you ever just get fed up with all the empty posturing and bluster? I want people to be responsible for their actions. I want consequences for all. The simple life!

        • I couldn't agree more with you, and doing so doesn't change what I have said above. If I were on the job with someone who behaved in front of me the way these folks apparently have, I hope I would have the integrity to do something about it on the spot as well as reporting it to my superiors or wherever is appropriate.

          I equally have problems with authority figures – let's lump union officials in there too – who are more preoccupied with damage control than they are with fixing problems. Hello? RCMP?

          All this being said, I'm also aware that in many, many cases, the way they are initially reported is rarely the final and full story and that the end result is that I often find myself changing significantly my initial reactions to what I hear. If I had acted solely on those initial impressions, I would have made a terrible mistake. And that is all I am urging comenters here to do generally – don't go demanding specific remedies in specific cases based solely on the first version of a story you receive.

          • I might be in favour of having non-union officers, such as a police chief, place on
            paid administrative leave any officer being investigated by the SIU.
            Until charges are laid, and unless and until proved guilty, we are taught to presume
            people innocent (innocent until proven guilty in an eventual criminal proceeding).

            I agree with the "presumption of innocence" idea for anyone. However,
            administrative actions and disciplinary actions do not fall under the scope
            of criminal proceedings. So I would be prepared to back up disciplinary
            actions by "senior management" [ cadres in French, non-union employees]
            to put officers involved with an SIU investigation on paid/unpaid leave, at
            the discretion of "senior management". As I said, I don't see that or don't agree
            that "presumption of innocence" could serve as a shield for a 1 month
            action of paid/unpaid [and forced, non-optional] leave of absence.
            If provincial laws don't allow this, then maybe provincial laws ought to be
            amended. Please let me know your views.

  13. The treatment by the police appeared extreme and should be dealt with HOWEVER it would not have happened if Ms. Bonds would have just stumbled away and kept her drunken mouth shut. She was drunk in a public place and received her first break there as she was not arrested then. Kicking a police officer is a bad thing to do anytime as you will probable find out as she did they do not take to kindly to abuse by people who are drunk. Booze is a bad thing and it tends to get alot of people in trouble very often. Hopefully Ms.Bonds will get some help for her problem and learn from this experiance. My daddys best advise to me was when you are in s##t up to your eyes you need to shut your mouth! Advise that would have prevented this whole incident from happening.

    • Attacking the victim instead of the perps. With a holier-than-thou argument. So when a young person drinks too much, not an unusual situation these days, cops should be allowed to brutalize them, eh? Nice.

      These cops were bullies, drunk on their own authority and figured they'd get away with it. They didn't, and actions have consequences; they now have to pay the consequences. I hope they're fired and have to learn new trades. We don't need the likes of them "protecting" us.

      • I'd prefer to see them dealt with on the same terms any other group of people would be. Doing this job doesn't actually exempt you from the law. They should be tried for assault as civilians just as anyone else would be.

        • Agreed: fired, charged and prosecuted.

    • Canadian citizens have rights that still exist when we are drunk or rude.
      However I also question your assertion that she was acting improperly. The judge said that she saw no evidence of Ms Bond acting aggressively or resisting arrest.
      What would have prevented the whole incident from happening would be having the police respect her rights.

      • The judge must be blind. Even if you agree that cops went to far she was clearly not fully co-operating

    • "She was drunk in a public place and received her first break there as she was not arrested then."

      Even if she was drunk (which seems questionable at best) what is wrong with her walking home? Should she drive? Would that be your solution?

    • Nice try at trolling. *grins*

    • As I said first and foremost is that I agree the officers involved should be dealt with as there actions appear to be extreme. It is good that Ms. Bonds never drove home and decided to walk (if she was as drunk as appeared in the video), however being intoxicated in public is an offence and she could have been arrested for that alone but was let go. Everything that happened after that was the fault of two sides, first the over the top police who should/ will be held accountable and Ms. Bonds who apparently does not know when to remain silent as is her right and she could have just kept walking home. Once again booze no doubt played a part in this and in the end Ms. Bonds has paid a very high price for having to many drinks. Unless you believe that you have a right to be drunk and mouthy in public then you should see my point, however if you think that only the police are responsible then you are obviously blinded to the full story of what happened that morning.

      • "…Ms. Bonds who apparently does not know when to remain silent as is her right …" She also had a right to speak, and they arrested and assaulted her for asking a simple question. Stop blaming her.

      • Being "drunk" in public is NOT a crime. Whatever laws may exist to the contrary.

        You are clearly a prohibitionist if not a fascist.

        My guess is your ignorance is based on a lifetime of energy wasted cowering to cops and authority figures. And yet, the odds you wind up experiencing the very thing you cheer lead are better than you might think.

        • I agree, << Being "drunk" in public is NOT a crime.>> . In jurisdictions I've seen, it's
          often an article in a city by-law that creates this offense. It's not a crime in the sense
          that nothing in the Criminal Code of Canada has a section about solely:
          << Being "drunk" in public >> .

      • You are accusing the victim, and you don't have any proof of what she said or did not say. However there is proof of her being physically abused. Based on the articles written the only thing we know that she said was: "Why was I stopped and questioned". That is her right, everyone has right to know why they are being stopped or pulled over. According to the reports she was either stopped on Rideau street in Ottawa or in the Byward Market. Anyone familiar with the area knows that on a weekend night, those areas are filled with University Students and other club/bar goers having a good time. No one should have to be subject to the abuse of law enforcement because you are drunk and walking home alone late at night. They are suppose to protect you when you are vulnerable, not beat you.

        • They are suppose to protect you when you are vulnerable, not beat you.

          Aye, there's the rub; a danger to the public or to themselves is the rubric. The response, I presume in the manual, should be reasonable means of restraint. Assault – the use of aggressive force – upon that person, I would stipulate, does not fall within the guidelines.

          Shoving anyone around for what seems to be no reason at all is despicable and requires a serious response.

          Shoving a Canadian citizen, or any resident of this fine country, around for what seems to be no reason at all should result in a bench clearing brawl where the aggressors take . . . a . . . real . . . nose . . . bleed . . . inducing . . ass-kicking.

          Else, why the hell are we proud to be Canadians?

      • There are arrests with a warrant and arrests without a warrant. A warrant is a paper signed by
        a judge. Bonds was arrested without a warrant. Canadian law puts clear limits on when a
        warrantless arrest can be made. A person can be arrested without a warrant for criminal offenses
        when "caught in the act" , the same as "in flagrante delicto". Also, I believe, upon suspicion that
        a crime has occurred. Or, in case of attempting to run away (say someone with a bottle of liquor
        in a public place who tries to evade the police). Also, in case a person continues to
        offend after being told to stop (say someone who plays the trumpet in the streets at midnight
        after being told to stop). By itself, "being intoxicated in public" _is_ _not_ an offense
        under the Criminal Code of Canada. So one reason for arresting a person for
        "being intoxicated in public" is if they continue to stay in a public place and continue
        to be in the state of "being intoxicated in public" after being told to stop. That's
        about it. The amount of discretionary powers police have when seeking to make a
        warrantless arrest is limited by law. Please let me know if you know of reasons other than
        those outlined above that allow police to make a warrantless arrest in case a person
        is simply "intoxicated in public".

    • You have only the cops' word to go on that she was "drunken".

      With the War on Impaired ramping up to full-out tyranny, you would prefer Ms. Bonds to have been driving?

      • Watching the arrest video shows someone who appears drunken. You are right that is all I have to go on but the same can be said for your weak arguement, you have only Ms. Bonds word to go on as all of the video did not contain audio. So pick a side as you first say she maybe was not impaired and then say I may prefer her to have been driving? You obviously missed the point in my post and that is alcohol played a major role in this event and although justice should occur with the officers involved Ms. Bonds and her decision to drink that evening as well has responsibility in this event.

        • How would you be able to tell if she was drunk from the video when all through it a bunch of big fat cops are pushing her around?

        • Is that you, Officer Bubbles?

        • You obviously ignored my previous post where the court found there was no evidence of intoxication. Whose word are we going to believe, the Justice or yours?

    • Don't be silly. Reasonable police only pick you pick you up for public drunkeness if it appears you are too drunk to get home safe, or are disturbing the peace (taking a piss on people's lawns, yelling, kicking over post office boxes). I may or may not have personal stories to back this up….

      Unreasonable police bully drunks cause they know they are vulnerable and think they may have cover. Not unlike when they bully protesters.

    • What about the part where they cut her clothes off? Even if she was intoxicated, this is inexcusable.

      • What the police did was clearly wrong and an abuse of power. In fact, my prof used it as an example of abuse of power in our criminology class. I hope that she gets a good settlement for their abuse. Also, a person does have the right to ask why they are being questioned or detained and has the right to not consent to a search. And Ms Bonds was walking down the street, not driving. Some of these idiots on here need to get their head out of their ass, and maybe they should keep their mouth shut or their fingers off the keyboard.

        • So, why not have senior management on duty 24x7x365 in the cellblock area?
          Canadians pay a lot for military operations in Afghanistan. Officers and military police
          are generally around to supervise (the officers, that is) the enlisted men and women.
          Why not have more senior management on-the-spot oversight of unionized police
          officers? Would it be worth the extra cost?

    • Moron this is the 20th century. Your backwardness is pathetic!!!!!! Get some lessons from your neighbors downsouth!!!!

    • Actually, if you read the news more carefully, Ontario Court Judge Richard Lajoie later held that she was not drunk. So next time before you jump to conclusions, you should make sure you read all the facts first.

      As well, even if she was drunk, there was no excuse for the police to have treated her in such a manner. There was no reason for her to stripped searched in the company of male officers and degraded.

  14. I would like to think that all these new prisons that this current "law and order" government is threatening to build, will be filled up with the subhuman brute thugs hiding inside a uniform they so obviously disrespect. The disillusionment with those we were once taught to respect is heartbreaking. Those n charge of these creatures should be ashamed, and replaced with people who will put honour, scruples and decency above protecting their own at all costs.

    • Actually you do want them to protect their own at all costs – you just want the definition of "our own" to extend to the citizenry at large, rather than the small group of police they employ. The problem is the shrinking definition by police culture of its own ingroup, and that has been building for a long time. The current us-vs-them situation won't be easy to reverse.

  15. Canada we have a problem. Our administrator egos are so big they can simply right off issues like this as once in a while issues. In Ontario schools children are raped and school admininstrators do nothing to inform the police. Any child who has to stand up in court and tell what happened to them by fellow students or by the sex offender teacher, that child is our hero. Ms. Bonds you have no idea how important your stand is for victims in our society. Thank You

  16. To people saying she deserved it because she 'mouthed off'.
    They cut her shirt and bra off. A gang of them.
    How anyone can defend the police in this situation in is beyond me.
    They cut her shirt and bra off!
    Because she asked why she was stopped on the street?
    How is that belligerent?
    Left her topless!!
    wtf

    • Contemporary policing is based on obedience.

      Submit or be punished. Bow down or be beaten.

      Keep pushing and it could be fatal.

  17. Whenever the Police over-react they always lay a charge against the innocent victim. The Prosecutor has only the Police's evidence to go by, of course the charge will be brought to court. You can't blame the Prosecutor here. And if there's no evidence to the contrary (20 years ago there was no video to subpoena) the innocent party is convicted. Plain and simple.

    Police are trained to lie, it's standard interrogation technique. What do you suppose the chances are that they might be tempted to lie while swearing in a charge, or in court?

    • No, the prosecution would have seen the video before the judge saw the video. And sure, they might have gone along with the charge–up until the point where they saw the video (which they would have seen before the trial). How you can contemplate having that play in a court and still stand by the charge is beyond me.

      • Exactly. Its because you all thought it was NORMAL. Until the judge told them it was not…. It is a totally screwed up police culture. We have a sickness in our police forces and it is fairly new. It is as if they all have roid rage. Or there is terrible personality screening to get into cop school. I used to tell my kids cops were people to turn to for help. For my grandkids, I say that the attitude towards cops that their immigrant friends have as a carry-over from their corrupt police-state land of origin, well, that's Canada too. Just keep away from them. They do not protect or investigate. But they do bully and posture. And they are dishonest. Part of the general decay in our society.

      • I would assume Ms. Bonds hired a lawyer. Then through the process of discovery, her
        lawyer could have obtained the videos. You say that the Crown prosecutor would have seen
        the videos. That might be right, since they braught assault charges. It's unclear to me
        where the assault charges stem from: perhaps from written police statements?

  18. There are times I roll my eyes when someone who happens to be black and in trouble immediately trots out the old chestnut: “You’re picking on me because I’m black.”

    In this case it’s true, even if Ms. Bonds isn’t the one saying so. She may have spoken her mind to the officers but if she was white and blonde she never would’ve ended up assaulted and half naked in a cell. It was like we were in the deep south all of a sudden. Appalling that there is such group-think amongst the officers and not one of them could pull back and say, “This is wrong!!!” while it was happening. All of them should be fired.

    • Nobody can rule out the possibility that all or some of these cops are at least somewhat racist.

      But the idea that a blonde and/or white girl would not have been beaten is ludicrous: cops generally ARE equal opportunity abusers.

      The less racist they are, the more opportunities they have to bully people, which is, after all, the primary recruitment tool of today's government cops.

      It is arguable that the prettier the hypothetical female, the more at risk of abuse by less attractive female officers like the one in the Stacy Bonds nightmare.

  19. As appalling as this video is, i also couldn't help but notice one cop leaning up against the counter while this was going on with a big grin on his face. Realy, what in this scene is so amusing? I think everyone in that room needs to be fired, and the grinning cop should wipe that smirk off his face. Words don't even begin to describe this travesty of justice.

    • I agree, like how can a person find amusement when another human being is suffering. Like they are police officers being PAID to serve and protect. It is your job to help someone in need. Not be a bystander to injustice and especially not lauging about injustice.

  20. Where is the Crown Attorney's explanation for allowing the charge to go to court? An investigation as well as comprehensive explanation from the Attorney General of Ontario to the people of Ontario on the actions of the local Crown are overdue. McGuinty! Hudak! wake-up!! The citizens of Ontario have a right to accountability from the actions of their judiciary.

    • Second!

  21. Ms. Bonds hasn't even begun to feel the emotional and mental damage that police brutality causes. Sure she is quite mature about it NOW, but talk to her in 3 months, when the trauma has had time to really set in. My seriously mentally ill son was pepper sprayed and falsely arrested in BC, FOR NO REASON, and it destroyed what little mental well being he had previously, and that has affected my daily life negatively ever since also. Most people don't know, or don't want to know that good, bad, and disabled Canadian citizens have their rights violated every day by the police through false arrests or assaults. We had better do something about it, because YOU might be next, or else – we had better just get used to it.

    • Her arrest took place in 2008. It's the court case against her that was just recently thrown out by the judge.

      • I stand corrected. If Ms. Bonds hasn't been suffering from post traumatic stress disorder since being assaulted in such a vicious manner, I'd be amazed.

  22. Possibly fearing further abuse from police, Stacy Bonds makes one wrong-headed statement: "there are a lot of great cops out there."

    A lot?

    How many cops would Ms. Bonds — or anybody — characterize as "great" after questioning their "authority"?

    Anybody who has argued with a cop over a traffic stop, expressed the wrong "attitude" or ideas, or used the "wrong" tone or words finds out very quickly how police officers like their misplaced authority questioned.

    • That's why I call them pigs.

  23. According to this article, the Supreme Court made a ruling in 2001:

    "…The landmark ruling said strip searches could no longer be conducted as a matter of routine police business. Terming the practice degrading, the court said strip searches could only be used to look for weapons or for evidence related to an arrest. An arrest itself cannot justify a strip search so officers have to establish legal grounds to conduct one, the court said…"
    http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Troubles+mount+polic

  24. Image what would have happened if Stacy was beated and abused by anyone other than the so called "officers of the law".
    We certainly do not need such officers of the law. Fire them and send them to jail – I doubt that will happen at all.

    • I agree that the knee-kicks are almost certainly excessive use of force.
      As a general comment on policing, and not specific to the Bonds case in any way,
      I think drawing the line between legitimate and excessive use of force is sometimes
      a tough call. Nevertheless, senior management and others have developped the concept
      of the "force continuum" in some detail, as evidenced in this link: http://www.ottawa.ca/calendar/ottawa/citycouncil/

  25. I've lived in Ottawa and there's no doubt in my mind there's more than just few bad cookies in that police force. I think there is widespread bad behaviour on their part, and there has been much more that has gone on that was never captured on a video camera. All of those officers in the video should have been fired, on the spot. They had no business manhandling and abusing Ms. Bonds, and it's also evident they lied about the events that occurred.

    It's pretty hard to tell what is the ratio of bad apples to good (there is one Ottawa officer in particular that I encountered who was a fine, impressive, dignified officer). And I've never found myself on the wrong end of the law. But of the officers I've encountered, I'd have to say that a large number of them have a bad attitude, and they deserve all the bad publicity they're getting. Many of them show absolutely no respect to the law-abiding citizenry and I'm not surprised at the abusive behaviours that have been uncovered.

  26. Oh yes, the police are so brave, the five of them taking on a woman who weighs all of 100 lb. By your comment, it would seem that you are also a cowardly police officer who hides behind his badge. Or did you mean something else by your comment?

    • I think he was being sarcastic

      • I hope so. If he was it was a little too subtle for me.

  27. The Ottawa Police Chief should resign or be fired. Too much wrongdoing has recently come to light and it all happened under his watch.

  28. I'm sure the Taliban are eager and waiting to infiltrate the Harper/Rae/Ignatieff training-camps in Afghanistan and pick up on all the best, latest, and most enlightened police methods.

    Tasering people in airports, beating Vancouver immigrants' faces to a half-blinded pulp…

    Makes you proud to be a Canadian.

    • Almost as proud as it made me as I watched masked protestors smash windows, burn cars, assault people, and destroy hard working businesses in the name of “social justice”, “climate change” or whatever other nonsense they were using as an excuse for their crimes.

      • Funy, the cops were watching that too; they sure did not try to stop it; it made such a good photo op as an excuse for them the next day to arrest, threaten and beat peaceful protestors and innocent bystanders who were not protestors.

  29. The question I would like answered is: What does it take for a cop to get fired in this country? I bet most if not all of the cops involved in this episode will keep their jobs.

  30. Just the tip of a big iceberg too

    If you read my blog, or my cartoons the last few years you would clearly have noted that I had rightfully for ages now said and clearly detailed even too as to why that wrongfully too many of Canada's police, RCMP, politicians, justice ministers, civil and public servants, doctors and nurses, so called professionals and their regulating bodies as well are bad, pretentious, unacceptable and they and their supervisors should be immediately fired, terminated now too http://thenonconformer.wordpress.com/

  31. I admire Ms. Bonds for her choice of words in this article because if they did to me what they did to her, i might have difficulty being so polite. It also crossed my mind whether this was a race issue, and if the same thing would have occured if she was blonde haired and blue-eyed. However, the fact of the matter is, we don't know if it would. And instead of this being a race issue, its more than that, its a human rights issue. As human beings no matter what race or culture or socio-economic class, we all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. Especially by people who are being paid by tax payers to keep us safe. Some of you will accuse Ms. Bonds of being intoxicated and probably mouthing off. So what? Regardless of what Ms. Bonds could have done to upset the officers, they are in positions of authority and a certain moral standard is expected while on duty as well as the ability to make good decisions and follow procedures. These officers seriously undermined the legitimacy of our police force with their stupid and uncalculated actions.

    • I actualy do not believe she mouthed off. The cops questioned her, then let her go. Only when she then asked why she was stopped did they arrest her. If she was rude/rowdy they would have arrested her in the first place, not let her go.

    • It certainly wouldn't have happened if she were 6'5", male, and 220+ lbs. Bullies choose their victims carefully.

  32. At least they didn't taser her! I had one friend question the police and they peppered sprayed him. Another questioned the police and was tasered. The police love to rough up drunks.

  33. Way to miss the point

    • Geddes: "But if she keeps talking in the dignified, admirable way she does in today's Citizen story, we might have no choice but to make her a bit of hero."

      That's a disgusting statement, coming from a journalist. First, because Stacy Bonds is a hero already. Second, and more importantly, while she can talk in however dignified a way she likes, a journalist has a responsibility to get angry once in a while and not back instinctively away from anything — like calling for wholesale reform of the SIU — that might rock the boat even a tiny little bit.

      Too bad, I thought Geddes had courage. Guess I should have looked more closely.

  34. Yes, exactly. I'd happily grant that White says all the right things, and that he's probably a very well meaning, hard working, terrific individual and cop. I imagine that you would agree.

    But the proof of the pudding is in the eating. He might be a good chief who is doing good work, but we sure aren't seeing it in tangible results. The implication seems to be that the OPS deserves the benefit of the doubt because a)White is an impressive chief, and b)most cops are good people. But despite these things we've still got a pattern of abuse and subsequent cover-ups at OPS, so perhaps, just perhaps, we should ask if Vern White's outrage is a sufficient response to a seemingly systemic problem.

  35. @tryon "In Canada no one is obligated to talk to the police when stopped <snip> Avail yourselves of it! "
    Yes, stand up for your rights! And end up beaten and charged – just like Stacy.
    A new (and one of the only) tools we have against cop thuggery is the personal surveillance technology – digital cameras, esp. cell phones that we tend to carry everywhere.
    Much of the G20 police effort went into controller the citizens' video footage – hey its my theory, that this was one of the motivations for the mass arrests.
    Control of video footage (whether official video like the Bonds beating or personal video like the Van-Airport tasing) will somehow be declared a matter of national security…..
    So, next time you have an encounter with the cops, hope that someone is nearby with a camera – but not so nearby that they get arrested for disturbing the police. And hope that youtube survives state control.

  36. Updates:
    – OttCit reports another case of claimed abuse of a woman while detained by the OPS on Chief White's watch: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Woman+alleges+a

    – Mayor Watson to be sworn-in Tuesday.evening. Announces plans to spend his first day in office visiting city employees in the the offices and the work yards. Wants to bond with the staff. Apparently, meeting with the Chief of the force that has been repeatedly charged with abusing Ottawa citizens is not on our Mayor-elect's agenda.

  37. Clearly she was being molested. That was the intyent of the officers when they spotted her walking down the street!!!!!

  38. What if she said she was going to kill herself? Wouldn't they have had to cut her bra off? What would have happened if she did hang herself with that bra? Imagine what all of these comments would be like? The front page of every paper and magazine would be blaming the police for not protecting her. There would be a public inquiry of course! What if she was resisting so they had to physically force her to do what they were requesting? What if? Does anyone even consider that she might not be the innocent victim???? My god, let the investigation conclude before we judge. This is disgusting.

    • They had no right to strip search her and in fact they had no right to arrest her in the first place. Stop blaming the victims; those cops are scum.

  39. cops are criminals beware of harper and fantino

  40. I say get rid of the police altogether and let the citizens protect themselves. We could have citizen patrols for dealing with murderers thefts and even traffic violations. I can't imagine that this kind of system would produce any abusive behavour because it appears from all the comments here we could do a much better job.

  41. We have a problem Canada!
    The police used uncalled for force.
    School authorities don't bother reporting the gang rape of a child during a school trip.
    Teachers who report the systematice faliure of our school to protect children from repeat sex offenders is forced out of teaching, professionally terminated, reprimanded by the Ontario College of Teachers and then suspended from teaching becuase he dare question a policy that allows repeat sex offenders to teach in our schools.
    If our school system can get away with this garbage, one thing we can bet on is simple. Not one police officer will ever come forward to stop beatings………….. NOT ONE!
    Watch these filthy pictures and watch the body langauge. If a teacher, a former judge turned Ontario Teacher can be destroyed by the Ontario College of Teachers, you think one single cop will run the risk of losing the support of his fellow officers….you got another thing coming.
    Citizens, we let this situation happen, it is our fault. Want to do something about it. Ask your MPP to vote to let the Ontario Ombudsman into our schools, our hospitals, and our police forces.

  42. I'm puzzled by statements from Vicki Bair, a senior Crown Prosecutor in the Ottawa area, as
    reported today in the Montreal Gazette by journalist Andrew Seymour, apparently of the Ottawa
    Citizen. Seymour wrote in part:
    "Bair also accused the media, including the Citizen, of "cherry-picking" portions of Lajoie's decision and advancing its own version of the events."

    I believe I have found the whole decision here: http://www.canlii.org/en/on/oncj/doc/2010/2010onc
    as R. v. Bonds, 2010 ONCJ 561, Docket 998-09-13642 .

    My question: suppose we don't cherry-pick and read the entire decision. Shall anybody
    stand up and publicy explain why the case was brought to court? It appears that
    this has not be done in detail so far.

    The Vancouver Sun reports as follows:
    << A spokesman for Attorney General Chris Bentley says the Bonds case has been reviewed by the province's chief prosecutor, who has determined that it was reasonable to take it to court. >>

    Has Ontario Attorney General Chris Bentley pernonally reviewed the decision to prosecute
    Stacy Bonds, in the light of all information available to him?

    Under parliamentary custom, a minister is reponsible to the parliament for
    his or her ministry. Therefore, the Ontario Attorney General ought to be responsible
    before the Ontario Legislature for the Ministry of the Attorney General.

  43. The physical abetting of the kneeing of Bonds proves the matter against the 4 cops. It is logical to presume that 4 trained officers (within their holding facility) ought to be able to restrain a 100 pound woman without using swinging knee kicks. The matter following of them having Bonds lay in her own urine proves that there was a failure to care for the dignity of bonds. Those two matters each confirm malice and confirm that it was a false arrest. There was not any attempt to ask Bonds to undress her bra and nor was there a reason to presume a risk of suicide. Where there was the assault undressing thru force gave Bonds reason to fear that the assault was sexual.

  44. They are not to presume the unspoken vulnerabilty of people that they do not know (according to their strength). Any may be suffereing a tragedy or report of an illness. Any may be a victim of domestic violence or intimidation. An accused has the right to not become the victim of crimes where there is an allegation of a false arrest nor a victim of the same sort of crimes or greater crimes on the journey to a ruling on an allegation, and has the right to not have their unknown life revictimized in neither of those two ways..

  45. The physical abetting of the kneeing of Bonds proves the matter against the 4 cops. It is logical to presume that 4 trained officers (within their holding facility) ought to be able to restrain a 100 pound woman without using swinging knee kicks. The matter following of them having Bonds lay in her own urine proves that there was a failure to care for the dignity of bonds. Those two matters each confirm malice and confirm that it was a false arrest. There was not any attempt to ask Bonds to undress her bra and nor was there a reason to presume a risk of suicide. Where there was the assault undressing thru force gave Bonds reason to fear that the assault was sexual.

  46. The judge stayed the charge that Bonds assaulted a police officer and saw presumption freeing right of evidence confirming that her Sept. 6, 2008 arrest on a charge (of public intoxication) was illegal . He also called the officers behaviour toward her appalling. There are 9 lawsuit claims of brutality & false arrest against Ottawa police. When there is an allegation of a false arrest thru a breach of the Charter what is proven after the arrest may serve as critical evidence confirming that the allegation of the false arrest is true. Remember this is not on the number of officers, this is on the physical abetting of the kneeing of Bonds.

  47. On January 12, 2005 my son suffered similar police mistreatment, in his bedroom, for no apparent reason, because four Saanich Constables wanted him to go to a hospital for toxicology testing. They didn't identify themselves as police, were not wearing hats, and assumed that he could not understand them, while he waited for an explanation, unarmed, lying on his bed, as he had completely undressed himself, and was also not wearing his prescription glasses – so wondered if they were mislead or mistaken paramedics. To his horror, and mine when I learned of is about a half-hour later from a friend who arrived outside my son's house while the police were inside, the officers then yanked him off his bed, hog-tied him on the hardwood floor, and as one of them pressed his knee down on my son's head, Tasered him five times. He was then handcuffed and forced to lie on his cuffed hands while being taken by ambulance to a hospital. In the hospital, he was found to have zero toxicology, yet was given a sedative injection and a variety of non-required medications over a period of 16 days, until I was able to advocate for him to be discharged. We then sought a second medical opinion from a doctor at the University Clinic my son had gone to the day before this Taser incident. That doctor ordered my son to be given full academic concession as a student so that he could withdraw and move back to Alberta. It was as though the doctor thought no student who had suffered such unjust treatment, could remain safe living in the vicinity patrolled by the Saanich Police. The BC Police Commissioner did a white-wash on my son's complaint of Torture, and refused to allow a public hearing. I read the Criminal Code – then wrote up 11 counts of criminal charges, including Torture, contrary to Section 269.1 and my husband drove back to Victoria and swore them as a private information application to a Judge on Dec. 22, 2008. Christine Lowe (so-called Crown Prosecutor) quashed that application, refusing to accept my son's and our prima-facie evidence. She admitted she had already read a police report – I wonder, is that because she's married to Stan Lowe (BC Police Commissioner)?

  48. Part II – In Alberta, my son and I also tried to obtain assistance from the RCMP in our community, to report the unlawful arrest and assault he suffered at the hands of Saanich Police. We were ordered out of their detachment office, and contrary to medical orders, told we had to go back to Saanich to deal with that department ourselves – obviously – an impossibility. We called hundreds of lawyers in BC and Alberta for help – receiving assistance only from Cameron Ward, who was only willing to file a civil writ, and act on a 40% contingency fee basis. Then when he withdrew for personal reasons, we received no referral to another lawyer, only a demand to provide "trust funds" to enable a Pivot Legal lawyer to review the evidence we had already collected – from witnesses, the BC Police Commissioner, and the paramedics who were called – not by police, but by a bystander. Costs of discovery of evidence were thus born by us, totalling thousands of dollars and at least 3 years of my work, plus the fact that injuries sustained by my son, left him unable to work full-time, and similarly me, while assisting him and providing care-giver aide. He suffered about 18 months total duration of neurological trauma – Post Taser Attack PTSD and so did I – even longer as I also sprained my back while helping him get moved and resettled in my home in Alberta. The discovery of the Saanich Police Department's representative was eventually done by an Edmonton Lawyer – one who had himself also been Tasered in an incident in Edmonton. That discovery demanded the "use of force" report – that still has not been provided or entered into my son's medical records. I also made a submission to the Braidwood Commission – but was told that investigation was limited to that one incident (costing tax-payers $3.7 million). Then as I learned that the Saanich Police were terrorizing other citizens, still acting on erroneous "tips" to enter private residences with or without a warrant, I went back to asking the RCMP to assist us. They still refused.

  49. Part III Later, as my son's lawyer in Alberta (who previously had an office in BC also) was on vacation, awaiting response from the lawyer acting for the Saanich Police in the civil claim to produce the "use of force report" and a long list of other undertakings, that Defence lawyer for the Saanich Police, began harrassing my son and his wife and myself by telephoning and sending e-mail and letters slandering and threatening to libel us. The risks of waiting for his lawyer to provide another referral were such that my son wrote back to one of the letters and said he would withdraw the civil claim without costs – because the lawyer was threatening that my son would have to pay $10,000 in court costs. With that letter, that lawyer then applied for a dismissal with costs – attempting to aggravate the damages with more extortion! I attended to Justice Parrett's hearing of that chambers application, as my son's legal representative. He said "I know it's not just", and ordered the case dismissed without costs. He also gave right t us as co-plaintiffs to continue as plaintiffs in the BC Court of Appeal. We filed the notice – but can not afford the costs and trauma of providing all the evidence again, in triplicate, to a tribunal of judges.

  50. Part V So as it is now New Years Eve of 2010 – exactly six years since the date my son and I talked about New Years resolutions together in the same room I am sitting in now, just 12 days before he was assaulted with a Taser, I hope I have had some beneficial effect for my son and the Saanich Police and the RCMP. I know I and my son have lost at least $400,000 value from our homes, because our homes are the only places other than our university tuition, where we had invested any savings, while we were both full-time students, though still doing temporary summer jobs or part-time contracts. It is, similar I think, to what Percy Schmeiser and his wife suffered in being obliged to defend themselves against prosecution for no real reason by Monsanto, except that they were able to continue retaining a lawyer, and enabled to settle out of court for costs, so they could keep their farm. My son and I only have a few tropical indoor plants – the only things we raised over the past six years were a few garden vegetables and some tropical fish. We gave some away, but never sold any – and all our employer's deducted tax from our pay-cheques. I see little point in worrying about retirement pensions – I think we are all going to have to keep working till we die – because of the legacy of Tasers and human rights offences in our own country. We were born here in Canada – but working until you die, is not a much different reality than what most people born in Cuba have to face.