According to the original story, Stacy Bonds, a 27-year-old theatrical make-up artist with no criminal record, was walking along Rideau Street in Ottawa on September 6, 2008 when she was stopped by police. She was going home from an after-hours party following a live musical performance downtown. Officers ran her name through their database and let her go when nothing turned up. However, when Bonds asked why she’d been stopped, police arrested her for public intoxication.
When Bonds was brought into the police station, she was kneed by a female officer, punched, had her head slammed into a counter top then was wrestled to the floor. With 4 officers holding her down, one of them cut off her shirt and her bra with a pair of scissors. She was then left in a cell topless and in soiled pants for three hours and 15 minutes before being given a jailhouse jumpsuit.
The Ottawa Citizen newspaper posted a video which captured all of these proceedings on tape this past Thursday. It has gone viral and the backlash from the community has been astounding. In looking at the video, in viewing the amount of force and brutality used against this small woman, it is hard to believe one is looking at something from Canada and not some 3rd world country.
Last month, a judge ruled on Bonds’ treatment calling it an ‘indignity toward a human being.’ Justice Richard Lajoie, having reviewed the tape, said he didn’t want to play any part in the “travesty” so he threw out the case against Bonds, who had been charged with assaulting police. He also said Bonds was arrested unlawfully and he condemned the officers for the way they treated Bonds once she was in the police booking room
Ottawa city councillors have received hundreds of emails from residents expressing concern over the treatment of Stacy Bonds. Ottawa’s police chief has called the video ‘shocking.’ but the case, now before Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit, prevents the chief from commenting on specific details.
The province’s Special Investigations Unit is now investigating the officers who handled Bonds for alleged sexual assault. An internal probe will resume once the SIU finishes which was launched personally by White, who called the tape “shocking” twice in the last 11 days.
Judge Lajoie ruled: “It is quite evident that none of these officers have received gender training, and that they do give only lip service to female dignity and privacy.”
Click HERE to read more from William Belle
Ottawa Citizen: video of Stacy Bonds in police custody