The Arrest of Stacy Bonds and
The Consequence of There Being no Consequences
The lack of consequences for police officers behaving badly is probably the main reason for the type of in-your-face unapologetic police brutality such as that witnessed at Vancouver International Airport, the G20 and in the arrest of Stacy Bonds of Ottawa.
Stacy Bonds, a twenty-something black woman, was walking home one night when she was stopped by Ottawa police. After providing identification, she asked why she had been stopped.
For nothing it turned out, but that did not deter Ottawa’s finest from arresting her for simply asking "Why?"
While in police custody one male officer would put his hand down her pants, strip her of her blouse and cut off her bra.
In a police video she is also kneed twice by a large police woman who steps back to put her considerable weight behind the first kick, which is followed by another, which is followed by her grabbing the hair of the petite Ms. Bonds and smashing her head into the counter, after which the robust policewoman doing all the kicking and the smashing suddenly develops a limp and leaves the scene.
She returns moments later, more or less limp-free, as four burly male police officers now surround Ms. Bonds who is in handcuffs, face down on the floor. The young woman's blouse and bra are cut off with a pair of scissors and an officer sticks his hand down her pants.
The butch (female with masculine traits) who did the kicking and the smashing still hovers menacingly in the vicinity as if looking for an opportunity to get a few more kicks in before the immobilized young woman is carted away.
Ms. Bond was left in a police cell for three hours, topless with soil pants while the police drew up charges of resisting arrest and assaulting police officers.
The crown prosecutor, even after seeing the video, proceeded with the charges (this has to be the most worrisome).
Two years later, we are talking Canadian justice here, a judge asked to see the video and threw out the charges against Ms. Bond, calling what was done to her a travesty. Just another travesty, we might add, the consequence of there being no real inhibiting consequences i.e. deterrent for police officers who do this sort of thing.
The police sergeant in charge, who participated in the assault on Ms. Bonds, had days earlier kicked and twice gratuitously tasered a homeless woman in a police cell who had been arrested for panhandling.
For this excessive use of force on a defenseless woman the police sergeant was demoted to corporal for three whole months before resuming his duties as sergeant; duties which included the supervision of the processing of people taken into police custody. In defence of Desjourdy, he should never have been left in a job for which he was obviously not suited emotionally, and which put him in contact with people who brought out the worst in him.
"The female officer who kneed Stacy Bonds following her arrest was also videotaped kicking a homeless aboriginal man 'like a dog' after other officers dragged him by the legs into a cell last year" Ottawa Citizen
Again, no deterring consequences.
Until there are real lasting consequences for police officers doing what Justice Richard Lajoie, who dismissed charges of assaulting police officers against Ms. Bonds, called an “indignity” to a human being and a “travesty” of justice, fathers should perhaps include in their cautionary warning to daughters going out on a date or a party in Ottawa, not to call the police if the date goes bad or the party gets out of control unless they absolutely have to.
For police to regain the trust of fathers will take some doing, but nothing that the Police Association working with the Chief of Police can not accomplish.
A good start would be for the Police Association to start behaving like an association of law enforcement professionals with standards that its members must live up to if they wish continue to enjoy the privileges and protection of membership; to start behaving like a morally upright fraternity of brothers and sisters in blue that is trusted by the people they have sworn to serve and protect.