11.26.2010 01:11 PM

McGuinty speaks out on Ottawa police strip-search controversy

McGuinty ‘very, very troubled’ by video of Ottawa police strip searching woman (Strip-Search-McGuinty)
Source: The Canadian Press
Nov 26, 2010 12:22

OTTAWA – Premier Dalton McGuinty says he’s “very, very troubled” by what he’s heard about a video showing Ottawa police strip-searching a woman in the presence of male officers.

McGuinty says he hasn’t seen the video of the 2008 strip search of Stacy Bonds by Ottawa police, which was released Thursday by an Ontario court.

The premier says most police officers always act in a legal way, but admits video showing a woman having her shirt and bra cut off after struggling with officers is disturbing.

He says “every time something untoward like this happens, it shakes our confidence.”

McGuinty says he wants police to keep in mind that this woman was someone’s daughter, someone’s sister and “for all they knew, this might have been somebody’s mother.”

Last month, Justice Richard Lajoie stayed charges of public intoxication and assault against Bonds and criticized the conduct of police.

Lajoie said he was “appalled” that Bonds was strip-searched in front of male officers, calling it an “indignity.”

The 27-year-old was left topless in a cell at an Ottawa police station for three hours in soiled pants.

20 Comments

  1. smelter rat says:

    Talk is cheap. What’s he going to do about it?

  2. Pcase says:

    How is SIU just beginning to investigate this now? Would they not be a little more proactive and begin immediately post-incident?
    This is disgraceful and it comes out the same week NO ACTION is taken against police shown to be overly violent during the G20.

    It has been a bad year for police forces in Ontario and the politicians and institutions that oversee their conduct. Officer Bubbles did not help either.

    Building an awful lot of distrust.

  3. Rick T. says:

    Fire all four Police Officers.

  4. Pedro says:

    hmmm… How many of us have seen exactly the type of behaviour police officers are routinely (daily and not only on so-called weekends) witnessing from from not just “publicly intoxicated” but from individuals who are inspired to consume alcohol and drugs according to the Olympic ideal of “higher, faster, stronger ’till the extent of one’s abilities!” There are few if any boundaries now with those individuals in our society who cannot abridge their desire to fill sensory desires or might I say, the deadening of their sensory abilities. We have decreed that no one has the right to decide that one’s behaviour is beyond the scope of human decency. I saw nothing in the video that indicated to me that the actions of the officers intended to degrade or embarass the woman. She was not mocked, stood up and paraded, spat upon or ridiculed. Ask police offocers how many times they are mocked, spat upon and ridiculed by intoxicated persons. turnabout is not fair play but the judge needs to spend some time in weekend lockups. I surely hope this person was not someone’s mother for reasons not in agreement with Premier McGuinty.

    • VH says:

      Gee Pedro, you must listen to too much right wing talk radio or something because your comment reeks of arrogance and disdain.

      How many times, exactly, do you get stopped by police walking on the way home, get let go, and then once cleared, end up in a cell naked in your own soiled pants?

      “The events began when Bonds was stopped by police for no reason on Rideau Street. They ran her name through their computer and nothing came up, so they told her to keep walking home. But after a few steps, she turned back and asked the officers why they had bothered to stop her in the first place, and things took a rapid turn.”

      Judge Lajoie, same article: “That is an indignity towards a human being and should be denounced.”

      I mean who cares what the judge thinks right? But she’s black and she questioned the police, so we should all be guessing that in your eyes it’s okay to take potshots at her fitness to be a mother then?

      • Dave says:

        He won’t reply VH. Righties never do. They’re scared. They live life scared, constantly afraid to push back, always bending over to please their authoritarian masters. It’s the Tory credo: PRODUCE, CONSUME, OBEY. And you know what kills them the most? The fact that it’s so often the Left that fights for liberty.

  5. matt says:

    Is the Premier troubled only because the officers conducting the strip search were male? That is how the statement reads suggesting that if these actions had been taken by female officers it would be alright by him. Is he troubled that the victim was arrested without cause? That she was left in her cell half naked and in soiled pants for 3 hours? That this happened 2 years ago and the officers involved have not been disciplined? Either the Premier has not made himself aware of the details surrounding this video/story or he is simply not troubled by them.

  6. J. Coates says:

    First Constable Bubbles and now this, jeezuz.

  7. James Bow says:

    I also hope that talk is followed with action. Given the tasks we give the police, it is vital that the public have confidence in the police’s ability to serve and protect us. These officers clearly failed in that duty, and it reduces the public’s trust in the police as a result.

  8. Dennis says:

    “McGuinty says he wants police to keep in mind that this woman was someone’s daughter, someone’s sister and ‘for all they knew, this might have been somebody’s mother.'”

    Such platitudes. Is it okay to do this to a woman with no parents, siblings, or children? No. How about wanting them to keep in mind that you don’t do this to human beings?

    On another note, I’m disappointed that it seems these idiots work in the same station as the guy who unraveled Russell Williams.

  9. IC says:

    When Ian Scott speaks out, the mouths in the OPPA go into media frenzy over-drive in their disgust that someone has the audacity to challenge any of their members. They are after all always smelling of roses…

    For once, I hope the SIU will show what it is made of – and remember the OIPRD now exists to try and pump some modicum of public trust into the complaints system against the thin blue line – and unfortunately, the jury is still out on how effective this melarkee will be.

    So, Dalton needs to take a long hard look at all of this on the tightrope he’ll have to walk to keep everyone happy…not an easy job.

    And now, the CBSA wants to give little Italian made pistols to the guys and gals who sit in booths at the airport checking your passport. Canada is changing – and I am not sure if it’s for the better…

  10. VH says:

    In general, Warren, the Premier can say whatever he wants but actions speak louder than words.

    Specifically the question to the Premier is whether he’ll fire the Attorney General after his opining on the actions of the Crown in this egregious prosecution.

    The Attorney General’s comments raise the question of whether anyone with a case involving allegations of police misconduct can expect justice from the Crown Attorney’s office while he’s in charge of the justice system.

  11. Lily says:

    The wrong criteria is used to hire police in general. They need a lot more education and should be psychologically screened I’ve been treated rudely by police who looked like they were fresh out of high school and had the most arrogant, rude behaviour. I avoid any contact with the police because you don’t know what will cause them to go ballistic and start going off on a power trip. After watching what happened this summer in Toronto, I am truly afraid of the police. I have lost any trust I had, and I feel sick but not surprised after seeing that video. Some police are real bullies hiding behind their uniform. What better place to get away with criminal behaviour. Sounds a lot like pedophiles hiding in the Catholic church.

  12. Dave says:

    Warren, I have to agree with a lot of commenters here- So what the hell is he going to DO about it? Talk IS cheap.

  13. Iris Mclean says:

    My bet is that Big Mike and Mad Dog are ROFLMAO right now.

  14. ben burd says:

    Now all we need is for Dalton to come out in defense of the G20 six that the SIU let down and perhaps we can believe his crocodile tears for this event

  15. J.-C. Daigle says:

    As an Ottawa resident, I’m growing increasingly concerned with the state of our police force and the men and women who serve on it. Over the last three or so years, we’ve heard of:

    – a shoplifting off-duty officer who threatened a mall security with a weapon
    – an officer who repeatedly used a database to track his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend
    – an officer who continued to fraternize with a known drug dealer despite repeated orders from superiors that he cease doing so
    – an off-duty officer who was engaged in a domestic dispute, fought off four of his colleagues reponding to the call and subsquently disarmed a responder, threatening all four with her service revolver
    – an off-duty officer who chased down a cabbie (who he claims cut-him off) and gets into a fight with the cabbie; leaving him with fractured limbs
    – an off-duty officer with the tactical unit who was tailed driving eradically along the Queensway who barely managed to negotiate his exit and subsequently passed-out at a stop light
    – an officer who’s insubordinate actions directly threatened the life of an informant
    – and now this incident involving multiple officers and various transgressions
    – as well as a prior incident involving the officer with the scissors in this clip

    and these are just the incidents that immediately come to mind.

    Out of a force containing some 800 active duty officers, there seems to be a disturbing frequency of some rather serious misconduct going on. I consider it a priveledge to count some of our officers as personal friends. I can appreciate that theirs is a stessful and often thankless job. I can also understand how officers might foster a natural inclination to protect thier own. But for the love of Mike, at some point the rank and file has to recognize that maybe there are too many asshats in the ranks spoiling the uniform. Then again, maybe the best of them already do, but asshats in the senior ranks just won’t/can’t do anything about it.

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