January 14 2011
Ottawa police have identified two additional cellblock incidents that need investigating on top of the four already being probed, two by the Ontario Provincial Police and two by the Special Investigations Unit, after video surfaced showing rough treatment of detained individuals.
“The OPP is investigating a total of four police cellblock incidents,” the police said in a news release Friday.
The video from July 2009 shows Terry Delay, an aboriginal homeless man, being dragged to his cell by several police officers. SPECIAL CONST. MELANIE MORRIS appears to kick him twice before he is put in his cell.
Delay was arrested for public intoxication after police found him with open liquor. Delay’s lawyer, Leo Russomanno, said police alleged Delay had subsequently assaulted Morris.
Charges against Delay of assaulting a police officer were stayed by Ontario Court Justice Dianne Nicholas last year, who said in her comments that Delay had been kicked like “you wouldn’t kick a dog.”
Morris was also the police officer involved in the 2008 arrest of Stacy Bonds; she could be seen in a video kneeing Bonds twice.
CONST. PAOLO BATISTA was found guilty of misconduct after using a 50,000-volt taser on a handcuffed protester outside a Citizenship and Immigration office in May 2003. Central to the case were three videotapes of the arrest, showing a man screaming while being zapped twice in the upper leg. Const. Batista was reprimanded with a demotion from the position of acting sergeant, but is appealing the misconduct ruling.
CONST. SHANE HENDERSON AND CONST. TRICIA NESBITT were cleared of using excessive force in the August 2004 arrest of a Montreal man, recorded by a Tim Hortons surveillance camera. Danny Gauthier claimed the two officers beat him inside the Montreal Road restaurant, resulting in black eyes, facial swelling, and an elbow injury.
CONST. MARTIN CARDINAL was convicted of assault for banging a woman’s head on the trunk of a police car while arresting her in November 2000 outside a Cambridge Street apartment building. An amateur videographer shot the arrest and sent the footage to the Citizen the following spring. Const. Cardinal was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service.