Stacy Bonds was the aggressor. We treated her appropriately.
The Statement of Defence submitted by the Ottawa Police Service in response to Bonds’ $1.2 million lawsuit says it all.
Forget the purring words of Chief Vern White, all that reassuring guff about internal investigations and reforming cellblock procedures. Forget the smokescreen of SIU and OPP probes—cops and ex-cops investigating cops, hoping to run out the clock of public concern.
The Ottawa police didn’t do anything wrong.
Remember, this isn’t the police union talking. This isn’t rogue cops, caught on video, trying to defend the indefensible.
This is the official, legal, formal response of the Ottawa Police as an institution:
The statement of defence says that while Bonds was entitled to ask why she had been detained by Downie and Flores on Rideau Street, they had “observed the Plaintiff to be in possession of open alcohol and consuming alcohol in a public place and to be intoxicated in a public place.”
Despite the fact that no bottle was recovered. Despite the fact that an Ottawa judge has already determined that Bonds was not intoxicated.
During the search portion of the booking process, Bonds allegedly resisted with her left arm and then with her legs, the statement of defence reads, adding that this resistance was directed at Morris.
The document goes on to state that Morris’s response of giving Bonds two knee strikes was part of the “Standard Use of Force Model” and denies that the “knee kicks were ‘shattering blows’ and neither of the kicks made any significant contact with the Plaintiff and they specifically did not make contact with the Plaintiff’s kidney area.”
And then this crowning touch:
“Contrary to the alleged findings of the trial judge at the criminal trial set out in paragraph 41 of the Statement of Claim, there was no finding that a strip search was conducted by a male officer.”
OK, Ottawa, whom are you going to believe? The Ottawa Police Service—or your lying eyes?
No words seem capable of conveying the sheer perfidy of the OPS as revealed in this Statement of Defence. It is nothing less than an abject betrayal of the public trust.
The correct, the reasonable, the decent course, would have been to make a public apology and extend an offer to settle. Now we see instead that even more of our tax dollars are to be expended defending, not only the uniformed thugs who actually brutalized Bonds, but the institution that gives them, and people just like them, continuing cover.
Chief White should resign or be fired. His buddy, Ottawa city councilor Eli El-Chantiry, the man who chairs the “oversight” body responsible for ensuring the proper management of the OPS, needs to be replaced without delay. And a full public inquiry into the OPS is, at this point, abundantly warranted.
The tipping point has been reached. Today we are all Stacy Bonds.