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Friday, November 19, 2010

Ottawa Crown Attorney's Office? This is your elbow. This is your ass.

Would you like me to go through that again? It's a fairly important distinction, and one you don't seem to have grasped just yet.

Writing in the Ottawa Citizen, law professor David Tanovich asks the obvious question regarding the Crown's decision to prosecute Stacy Bonds: what the fuck were they thinking? On what planet would the public interest have been served by seeking a conviction?

Any reasonable Crown viewing the videotape would have concluded that the only offence it revealed was the assault and sexual assault of Bonds by the officers. Any reasonable Crown would have realized that Golden prohibits strip-searches of women by male officers absent extraordinary circumstances, and that without lawful authority, the non-consensual touching of a female suspect that interferes with her sexual autonomy or dignity is a sexual assault. As the trial judge pointed out, there was no lawful authority for any of the officers' conduct in this case.

Guess this answers the question I raised in my previous post. Now I understand why it's taking so long for whoever's calling the shots in the Ottawa Crown's office to get his/her thumb out: because his/her head's in the way.

As for Steve Desjourdy, it seems he's been forbidden to deal with the public until the conclusion of Chief Vern White's "internal investigation." The Dawgmeister's been all over this, so I won't go through it again, but allow me one further observation: What does Chief White hope to accomplish with his internal probe? What does Ottawa police union boss Steve Boucher think is going to be revealed by Desjourdy giving the other side of the story? I can't wait to hear Desjourdy's explanation for what's on the videotape. As Boucher says, as quoted by the Citizen:

I don't think we should be making a judgment on this case until the end of the (internal) investigation.

Um ... news flash, Steve. This matter has been heard in a court of law, and Mr. Justice Richard Lajoie has already rendered a judgment. Train's left the station, dude.

Enough, guys. In Steve Desjourdy, you've got a nasty authoritarian prick with a history of violent behaviour toward women. Guys like this should be in jail, never mind carrying badges and guns. That he's managed to rise to the rank of sergeant says some pretty disquieting things about the occupational and organizational culture of the Ottawa police. You can either do something about it or continue enabling it.

On a related note: what is this, Asshole Cop Week or something? Was there an announcement?

(H/t Dr. Dawg, again, to Cliff at Rusty Idols and to Boris at the Galloping Beaver.)

Update: Oh, goody – the Special Investigations Unit's involved. Guess we can all relax now.

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