civil liberties, g20, human rights, ontario, ottawa, police brutality, Prisons, rcmp, Sean Salvati, Sgt. Steve Desjourdy, Stacy Bonds, Toronto, Toronto Police Services Board
By Rady Ananda
Ontario police have a penchant for brutality, sexual assault and false arrest, the latest example exposed during a civil lawsuit filed last month.
During preparations for the G20 Summit last year, Sean Salvati was arrested in Toronto for saying, “Well, good luck on Saturday.”
Here’s police video of the incident:
“One of the officers grabbed the neck and began punching me,” Salvati said in an interview with the Star [on June 23]. “(He) mentioned something about ‘These are your rights.’ You know? Like: ‘You think you have rights? These are your rights.’”
The Star reports:
“In his court filing, Salvati claims he and his friends encountered several police officers on the evening of June 23 and were intrigued by the robust security in downtown Toronto, stopping several times to chat and even take pictures with officers.
“At the end of the night, while trying to hail a cab, Salvati said he encountered two female RCMP officers and tried to engage them in conversation, too. He said the officers ignored him, prompting Salvati to say they should be more polite because taxpayers are paying for their overtime.
“He then saluted the officers and said, ‘Well, good luck with Saturday.’”
“The filing states Salvati hailed a cab to go to a friend’s house. At a red light, two police officers approached the taxi and pulled him out.
“In his claim, Salvati alleges he was questioned “repeatedly about his comments to the two RCMP officers and, specifically, what he meant by his reference to ‘Saturday.’ During this time, the two RCMP officers that Mr. Salvati had spoken to earlier arrived at the scene . . . and identified Mr. Salvati as the person who had spoken to them.”
“Salvati was then arrested for public intoxication. He claims in his court filing he had consumed slightly less than four glasses of beer in 5½ hours and was ‘in full control of his faculties.’ He further alleges he requested a breathalyzer test but was denied.”
On trial this year for similar abuse, Sgt. Steve Desjourdy, also from Ontario, cut off the shirt and bra of a woman who had been illegally detained and falsely charged with public drunkenness. She was left half naked in a cell for three hours. Here’s police video of that incident:
Desjourdy was charged with Sexual Assault by Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit. On top of criminal charges, Desjourdy faces a $1.2 million civil suit that Stacy Bonds filed against the Ottawa Police Service.
CTV News reports “he has been assigned to administrative duties,” adding further:
“‘What on earth is going on at the Ottawa Police Service,’ said lawyer Sean Dewart, who is representing Bonds in her $1.2-million lawsuit against the Ottawa Police Service….
“Although police are sometimes charged for incidents that occur while on the job; it’s unusual that a police officer would face a sexual assault charge stemming from an alleged incident that occurred in police headquarters.
“‘In my experience, it is rare that Ottawa police officers are charged with these serious types of offenses while they’re in the course of their duties,’ said Ottawa criminal lawyer Cheryl Letourneau.
Bonds was arrested for allegedly having an open container of alcohol, which police did not produce into evidence. She was later charged with assaulting a police officer. The judge in her case threw out the charges.
But this guy Desjourdy is a real thug, and it’s not the first or even second time he’s been brought up on charges. The Toronto Sun reports:
“And just four days before Bonds’ arrest, on Sept. 2, 2008, Sgt. Steven Desjourdy, one of the officers involved, used excessive force on an aggressive woman who he kicked and shocked with a Taser while in custody. Desjourdy later pleaded guilty to a Police Service Act charge for the Taser attack and was demoted to first-class constable for 90 days.”
Desjourdy is also a named defendent in another lawsuit filed by a woman, Roxanne Carr, who was beaten and left naked in her cell for nine hours. She weighs all of 100 pounds. Criminal charges against her were also dismissed.
Special Constable Melanie Morris was also involved in assaulting both Carr and Bonds. Carr is suing for $975,000.
Matt Gurney at National Post had this to say:
“I get the feeling that if the average citizen did to a cop what this cop has done to two [actually, three] women, the law enforcement community probably wouldn’t deem it an important learning experience.
“Why a police officer should get special dispensation to treat other people with brutality is a mystery. We entrust these people with law and order, to be enforced on our behalf, if necessary, with state-sanctioned violence. They owe us better than this.”
Maybe it’s time for some street justice for this out of control thug with a badge.
Short of that, maybe justice will be served by this Care2 Petition to get these criminal cops fired.