The Bonds Affair – Update

There’s battle lines being drawn,
And nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong.

Young people speaking their minds,
And getting so much resistance from behind.
Think it’s time we stop, hey what’s that sound,
Everybody look what’s going down
.
For What It’s Worth

 At the same time as the anarchist Black Block were locking and loading for the simultaneous protest against police brutality in Toronto and Montreal yesterday,  Sgt. Steven Desjourdy of the Ottawa Police Services was being charged with the sexual assault of Stacy Bonds while in police custody.  This fortuitous coincidence brought the semi-taboo subject of who controls the cops to the fore of the news cycle.

I was a little surprised that the charge would be sexual assault but, upon reflection, any man caught on camera tearing off the shirt and bra of a woman while she is resisting would probably get charged with the same thing.  It would not, however, take a 5 1/2 month investigation to convince the crown that there just might be something wrong here.

The others who participated in the cell block mêlée that night are special constables (i.e., not sworn police officers) so the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) of the OPP has no authority to investigate or arrest them.  Who does?  Why the Ottawa Police of course.

It’s already pretty clear how this thing is going to go down.  Desjourdy’s lawyer, Bill Carroll, was quoted as saying there was no “”basis for any allegation of sexual assault.”  (Judge for yourself.) Of course that is what one would expect from a lawyer whose client will be pleading not guilty.  Carroll, however, ratcheted up this brewing cold war by warning citizens that if we start holding police officers to account for their actions, we’re treading that slippery slope to anarchy.

“This kind of action, on the part of the SIU, is going to send a chill through … all officers who work in the cellblocks right across Ontario,” said Carroll.

Why it would send chill through the hearts of those who obey the law and respect the rights of all citizens is unclear.  If it does, however,  that would strongly suggest that the problem is systemic and that police forces across the province operate in a culture of violence and, just as importantly, a culture of privilege.  Become a cop, and they give you a “get out of jail free” card.

It might be cynical to suggest that the SIU charged Desjourdy because the video is incontrovertible evidence and the public shock after its release was a little too much to ignore.  We’ll see how the investigation of the January 29 incident plays out. That video didn’t receive quite the air play the Bonds video did.

It might be even more cynical to believe what I heard from a seemingly reliable source down here on the street — that there’s a “goon squad” of officers whose job it is to wreak a little havoc amongst the low lifes for awhile and then transfer to another force before anyone catches on.  I’m a little skeptical of conspiracy theories like this, but it wouldn’t utterly shock me to find out that the “few bad apples” police apologists keep talking about turn out to be officers who fill the same role as hockey enforcers.

By way of a P.S. I’d like to mention an incident that happened back in December of 2008 wherein the police, after beating down arresting a young woman on the sidewalk outside of my old grocery store, made veiled threats to a witness taking photos at the scene.  As with the second video on my “To Serve and Protect?” post, it shows just how camera shy our cops are becoming.  You can read about it here in Zoom’s excellent blog Knitnut.net.

There’s something happening here.
What it is ain’t exactly clear.
There’s a man with a gun over there,
Telling me I got to beware
Think it’s time we stop, hey what’s that sound,
Everybody look what’s going down.

For What It’s Worth

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About Drakakis

Street Poet scribbling to your tired, your poor, your huddled masses; the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, the homeless, tempest-tost ...
This entry was posted in News, Police, Public Awareness, Videos, Violence, Women. Bookmark the permalink.

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