Black woman abused by cops

Her crime? Ask­ing why she had been stopped


OT­TAWA — Stacy Bonds still cringes ev­ery time she sees a po­lice cruiser. It’s been two years since she was ar­rested, man­han­dled and stripped of her shirt and bra by Ot­tawa po­lice of­fi­cers.

One of­fi­cer even pulled the woman’s hair, though the 27-year-old was in hand­cuffs and not re­sist­ing.

Spe­cial con­sta­ble Melanie Mor­ris then kneed her in the leg and lower back mo­ments be­fore Sgt. Steve Desjourdy used a pair of scis­sors to cut her clothes off while other male of­fi­cers pinned her to the floor in the cell­block, where some of the 89 se­cu­rity cam­eras cap­tured the scenes a judge branded an “ in­dig­nity.” The judge also said Bonds showed no hint of ag­gres­sion or vi­o­lence.

Po­lice Chief Vern White called the case ap­palling.

Still, af­ter her or­deal, Bonds said she doesn’t want to think she was wrong­fully ar­rested and mis­treated just be­cause she’s a young, black woman.

“ I hope and pray it’s not a racial thing. I don’t want to make it into a big black-white is­sue. I think it’s more of an is­sue of ques­tion­ing author­ity and I’d like to tell peo­ple ‘ don’t be afraid to ask po­lice ques­tions. It’s your right.’ I’ve learned my rights and I think ev­ery­one should learn their rights and make sure they’re not stepped on,” Bonds told the Ot­tawa Cit­i­zen on Satur­day.

Bonds, a the­atri­cal makeup artist with no crim­i­nal record, was stopped by po­lice in Septem­ber 2008 while walk­ing home from an af­ter-hours party fol­low­ing a live mu­si­cal per­for­mance down­town.

The po­lice of­fi­cers ran her name through the sys­tem. When noth­ing came up they told her to go home. When she asked why she had been stopped in the first place, po­lice ar­rested her and took her to po­lice head­quar­ters, where she was put in a jail cell where she re­mained top­less and in soiled pants for three hours and 15 min­utes be­fore be­ing given a jail­house jump­suit.

“ The whole thing has shaken my con­fi­dence in a lot of things. I have a loss of words. It’s hard to de­scribe what hap­pened. And ev­ery time I try to get a grasp on the story, it flies out of my hands. It’s ev­ery­where.

Jus­tice Richard La­joie, hav­ing re­viewed the tape, said he didn’t want to play any part in the “ travesty” so he threw out the case against Bonds, who had been charged with as­sault­ing po­lice.

The judge also said Bonds was ar­rested un­law­fully.

He also con­demned the of­fi­cers for the way they treated Bonds once she was in the po­lice book­ing room.

The of­fi­cers who han­dled Bonds are now be­ing probed by the prov­ince’s Spe­cial In­ves­ti­ga­tions Unit for al­leged sex­ual as­sault. Once that ends, an in­ter­nal probe will re­sume.

— Postmedia News


Stacy Bonds was walk­ing home from an af­ter-hours party in 2008 when she was stopped by po­lice.

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