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Bank Street Bully

I arrived at the corner of Bank and MacLaren this afternoon as three police officers were trying to put an unconscious, handcuffed woman into the back of a van. She looked like a rag doll.

Then they changed their minds and laid her out on the sidewalk and sent for an ambulance. The female officer slid a piece of cardboard under her, so at least she wasn’t lying in the puddle.

Unconscious and bleedingI asked some other bystanders if they knew what had happened. Two men, who said they had witnessed the whole thing, told me that she had been walking down the street smoking a cigarette. A cruiser drove past, stopped, and an officer got out and approached her. She ran. The police caught her. She resisted. She was a tiny little thing, they said, but she put up a helluva fight. It took three officers to bring her down.

“And the big cop, he slammed her face-down into the sidewalk just like she was a huge man,” said one of the men.

Then, he said, they cuffed her and went to put her in the van. She was part-way in when suddenly she just collapsed. Unconscious. She was bleeding from the head. That’s roughly when I came along.

A woman said when she walked by, the young woman was unconscious, her face was grey, she was bleeding from her head, and her abdomen was rising and falling very rapidly, as if she were gasping for air. She thought maybe the police had tasered her.

You lookin' at me?I snapped another picture. The cops noticed this time. One of them strode directly over to me.

“You can’t take pictures of this,” he said. His tone was aggressive.

I slid my camera back into its case.

“Okay,” I replied.

“Erase it,” he ordered me.


“I said ‘Erase it’!” he said, “I work undercover and I don’t want my picture anywhere.”

I really didn’t want to erase my picture. Not unless I had to. Besides, if he’s so concerned about keeping his undercover identity secret, he shouldn’t walk around in a police uniform.

“Do I have to?” I asked.

“I told you, I don’t want my picture anywhere.”

“Is it the law?” I asked.

“I asked you nicely,” he said, but he didn’t say it very nicely. It sounded threatening to me.

“Is it the law?” I repeated.

“I asked you nicely,” he said menacingly as he stared down at me, “Are you refusing?”

I looked at him. Maybe if we were in a dark alley with no witnesses, I would have deleted it. But here? In broad daylight, surrounded by witnesses, with a tiny, bleeding, unconscious, handcuffed woman lying on the street? He was probably in enough trouble already.

“Yes,” I said, “I’m refusing.”

“Real nice,” he said in disgust, “Thanks a lot.”

And he turned around and started to walk back to the knot of officers and the unconscious handcuffed woman.

“It’s still Canada,” said a young man in the crowd.

The cop wheeled around.

“You say something?” he demanded of the young man.

“Yeah,” he replied, “I said ‘It’s still Canada.'”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” demanded the cop.

“It means,” said the young man, “that we have rights here. She can take a picture of anything she wants and she doesn’t have to delete it just because you say so.”

“Oh yeah?” demanded the cop, “I told her I work undercover and I don’t want my picture anywhere, but she doesn’t care what happens to me.”

“Maybe she cares about what happens to that person lying unconscious on the sidewalk,” suggested the young man.

“You a lawyer?” demanded the cop, “Cause if you’re not a lawyer then mind your own business.”

Then, inexplicably, the cop said, “You own property? Eh? You own property? Cause I own property. That means I pay police tax. If you don’t own property, you don’t pay police tax!”

Then he wheeled around and stomped back to his cluster of officers and the unconscious woman who was being tended to by the paramedics.

The little crowd that had gathered, we all looked at each other and shook our heads. What does property tax have to do with anything? Quite apart from being wrong about only property owners paying property taxes, was he suggesting that only property-owners have the right to an opinion? That the police are only accountable to a certain class of citizen?

“What an ignorant bully,” said one woman.

“He gets his attitude from that holster,” said a man.

UnconsciousI hope the young woman is okay. She didn’t look good at all. I wonder if there’s any way to find out without identifying myself.


153 comments to Bank Street Bully

  • “You can’t take pictures of this,” he said. His tone was aggressive.

    You absolutely can. And should, when there is any possibility of police misconduct.

    I am not a lawyer, but from what I understand, ordinary people are entirely within their rights to take photos of newsworthy events in public places.

  • Your rights as a Canadian photographer

    “Things you can do:

    * Take photos for non-commercial use in nearly any public space.
    * Photograph and publish photos of anyone, aside from young offenders, who are “newsworthy, doing newsworthy things, or are public figures or celebrities.”

    Banning photography reduces our security

    “Secondly, the ability to take photographs is an important check against the abuse of authority. Without the infamous videotape, it is likely that the Rodney King beating would never have received public attention and that the officers involved would have been able to lie their way out of the situation. Similar abuses, such as the inappropriate use of tasers, have been appropriately documented because people present had the capability and initiative to make a recording. Photos, videos, and other recordings can provide a vital record of interactions with authority: both allowing people whose rights are abused to provide evidence and allowing frivolous claims to be dismissed. A security force that is serious about good conduct and oversight has nothing to fear and much to gain from a bit of public surveillance.”

  • A bully is exactly what this guy is. But because he wears a badge, he behaves as though bullying is part of his job.

  • Well I am a lawyer and there’s no law against it that I know of. You were absolutely right to ask if you were breaking the law. The fact that he couldn’t come up with a law means there likely wasn’t one (although cops don’t know everything, that’s for sure). Next time say, “Charge me with something then” and see if they do. They won’t. Everybody has a attitude. I’m sorry you had to get caught up in it. I’ve been waiting for years to challenge a jaywalking complaint but one has never been made against me. I haven’t got a leg to stand on but it would be interesting to see if they could respond to the challenge. It’s like even cops think that you “get one phone call”. This is wrong – your right is to instruct counsel and if it takes you 3 phone calls, so be it. But they may not know that either. Best to play it safe if you can.

  • Welcome to reality, this happens all the time, usually to the homeless, or those with drug and alcohol problems.

    They know that no one is likely to stand up for the victim and they act accordingly – quite frankly you’re lucky you still have whatever it was you took the pictures with, I know people who have had their’s “accidentally” broken after incidents like this.

  • Good for you! That officer was a bully and you did the only honourable thing you could do in that situation and I applaud you for it.

    And the O-town cops have – or at least had when I lived there – a terrible reputation for being bullies! You’re just keeping them accountable, and too bad for him if he’s under cover.

  • I used to live a block away from that corner. That cop was out of order. If anything, a complaint should be filed against him for intimidation (not to mention what else they might have done to that young woman). I’m thrilled you had so much moral support from the crowd. We have to keep reminding ourselves that we do have rights that can’t be trampled on by police aggression.

  • Kate

    Please report this to the media.

  • veronica

    Thank you for standing up to this cop. That takes guts, and it lets bad cops like that know that they are accountable to the public. Thank you.

  • Kate — consider that done.

    Zoom — Did you get a name or badge number?

  • Is the cop who asked you to delete the photos in one of your photos?

  • Torontonian

    I’ve noticed over the last 20 years an increase in the “I can do anything I want and you’d better co-operate or else” mentality in the police. Rather a thug mentality.

    I know that some police who go to public housing and be downright rude and inconsiderate and have a low opinion of the persons who live there.

    The entire law-enforcement career path is tainted by such inconsiderate persons and nobody seems to be cleaning up the mess.

    Why is this?

  • As I have argued before (PDF):

    Protection of the individual from unreasonable or arbitrary power – in the hands of government and its agents – is a crucial part of the individual security of all citizens in democratic states.

  • No name or badge number, just a photograph.

    Bully cop

  • That must be good enough. He is identifiable in that shot.

  • Kat

    I just sent a link to your story to so they don’t miss out on this story and see public relation in full bloom on the street.

  • Kat

    I just sent a link to your story to so they don’t miss out on this story and see their public relations in full bloom on the street.

  • future landfill

    Good for you Zoom for standing up to the goof. I’ve been careful taking pictures of cops “performing their civic duty”(I value my cameras) but a few times over the years I’ve walked up close to this kind of behaviour and made my presence known. When the cops ask me to move along I tell them I’m just being a witness to the goings-on and offered to provide my name and could they give me the case number. My intent of course is in the interests of the n’er-do-well they’ve been whackin’ but police boy isn’t quite sure.

    I don’t recall they ever did give me a case number but they’ve tended to be a bit gentler afterwards since they can’t really run me off the public streets. What happens in the paddy-wagon is another story of course.

    If I had a rocket launcher…

  • future landfill

    For what it’s worth, the beat cops working that part of Bank Street are pretty good guys and don’t get all jiggy without provocation. This looks like a buncha yahoos with nothing much on their plate but a cheap thrill.

  • There’s a link + the images up at my place to help give this a bit more exposure.

  • I’m glad you and no one else in the crowd were hurt too after they tried to intimidate you. You’re right, he’s not undercover if he’s in uniform. And if he wants to work undercover, why would he be in uniform now, and do something newsworthy?

  • I think everything that needs to be said has already been stated, but I wanted to add my support:
    1) Legally, anything you can see and photograph from a public thoroughfare is fair game. Period.
    2) The ‘gentleman’ in blue was way out of line in what sounds like an attempt to coerce you into erasing your memory card. No matter what his job is, or what the woman lying on the sidewalk did before they took her down.

  • Legally, anything you can see and photograph from a public thoroughfare is fair game. Period.

    This is not necessarily true. For instance, standing on a sidewalk and photographing someone in their home might be illegal. The same goes for standing on a sidewalk and using a mirror to take photos looking up skirts.

    That said, these kinds of potential exceptions do not apply in this case.

  • So scary to think this is my Ottawa, the city of my youth. Now it is just America north. Except perhaps, those people talking back to the cop would have been taken into custody or beaten.

  • Oma

    I am proud of you, Love.

  • What a total fucking asshole. It’s perfectly legal in Ontario, and this includes Ottawa, to take photos of anyone and anything in a public space. I’ve had cops try and take my camera, I know how intimidating it can be. Congratulations on having the courage to do what you did Zoom. And then to also defend your actions.

    Not all cops are this arrogant and ignorant, but the ones who are need to be taught that when they put on the uniform they carry inside it the entire power of The State. And that means they can’t be lying and bullshitting people on the street to protect themselves.

    Well done Zoom.

  • Scout

    way to go! i videod FOUR bicycle cops in pentiction this summer arresting a drunk first nations woman who got up on the local bandstand stage and was dancing. the one cop forearmed me , i told him he couldn’t do that but he did it again. i said , ‘fine, watch for yourselves on youtube’. they got all flustered and the one said, ‘you can’t do that, i’ll sue you’. i said, ‘fine, go ahead and try’. they rode off in a huff.

    so ya, maybe big brother is watching us, but we’re watching him too….he’s getting all ballsy and careless , like when the border cops took down the two mohawk elders and the one had a heart attack because of it. but we’ve got the technology and the blogs.

    i like what the hawaiians say, ‘we are the evidence, not the crime’. in fact, they read MIRANDA to officers and judges in court. it’s awesome!

  • As ridiculous as the police-controlled complaints process is, you should still file one. That behaviour is completely unacceptable.

  • This gives me the shudders. Something similar happened in a neighboring town to mine (I’m in Southern Ontario, along the north shore of Lake Ontario). A young man was passed out on the sidewalk, probably from a drug overdose, and the cops trucked him off to jail. Yes, imagine that–he was UNCONSCIOUS, and that was a jailing offence for these bruiseboys. It wasn’t cause to summon an ambulance and get him to hospital for treatment.

    Well, the unconscious man died. And the cops were left looking all eggy around the face. Gee, don’t you wonder why?

  • elmaks

    Hell, I think I know who that is in that picture!

  • Travis Fast

    When I lived in Toronto on the corner of Bloor and Shaw, I came home one afternoon to find a drunk man passed out on the edge of the corner. Just then a concerned citizen came by and proceeded to call the police. I said “who are you calling,” she responded: “the police.” I said “do not call the police because they will not help the man although they will probably hurt him.” She looked at me like I was crazy.

    So the police arrived and promptly started jabbing and not so gently prodding him. As the man started to come around, completely disorientated of course and with the instincts of homeless person, he began weekly flailing at what he thought were people trying to do him harm. Boy was he right. The second after he began flailing in came the boots, and then the knees, and then the gratuitous blows to the head. The paramedics arrived and then certified that he was ready for the drunk tank lacerations and all.

    I turned to the woman and asked her “if that was what she had in mind?” “I was trying to help” she said. “Next time buy a bottle of water and ask someone to help aid the fellow to a safe place and leave the police out of it,” I said.

    Good for you for standing your ground with the police officer: it is not an easy thing to do. Being polite yet firm is exactly the approach to take.

  • Damn fine of you for standing your ground, zoom!

    Funny how police only like being on one end of the surveillance scheme.

    This kind of stuff happens all the time, and the police have been “cleaning the streets up” even more with Chief White, I hear–especially in the Market.

    I helped out a young man earlier this year who was roughed up by police while out cycling in the Market area earlier this year, and who had his knapsack slashed open.

    DReevely and others: While I’ve never had the occasion to make a police complaint (at least, not on a street cop or through traditional avenues), some people I know who do have informed me that you don’t need their name or badge number, but the time and location should be sufficient. Once you make the complaint, they will mail you a letter with the officer’s name, etc.

    I think the whole “badge number” rule is one of those hollywood myths (or maybe it legitimately applies in the US).

    Miss Vicky: Thanks for getting a link on this up on the Blogawa feed (and hence on my radar!).

  • Tried to ping you via halyscan but didn’t work. Regardless, linked. This is very uglr.

    RealGrouchy: “DReevely and others: While I’ve never had the occasion to make a police complaint (at least, not on a street cop or through traditional avenues), some people I know who do have informed me that you don’t need their name or badge number, but the time and location should be sufficient. Once you make the complaint, they will mail you a letter with the officer’s name, etc. ”

    That’s been my experience as well. A badge # helps, but isn’t necessary when you have enough specifics.

  • Well done.
    Been there done that, in my job and off work.
    I’ve been threatened with arrest, spit at, had a gun pulled on me when a mental patient nearby lost it, (the two responding officers made the situation worse) the intimidation tactics can be really quite banal.
    Standing up for a crushed unconsious woman is not against the law.

    This isn’t about all cops being bullies and jackasses of course, you witnessed a couple who were and who deserve very public shame and exposure, and a written complaint in their jackets.

    Go over their head, file the complaint; it’s tedious, demeaning, lengthy and frustrating but pull out some more of your courage do it anyway. And watch your back.

    The uniforms who take pride in their job may thank you quietly. And you may find paramedics and medical quietly support you also, they get sick of this behavior and embellished reports from police and patching up the people they rough up. There are legal people and social aid groups who wouldn’t hesitate to encourage and support you if they are made aware of the circumstances.

    We citizens are the line of defense against police bullying and harm even – if we don’t win them all.

    You were on public property (common ground) and something in your core integrity may have helped bystanders dig within themselves.

    The emotions are strong aren’t they? Boldness, outrage, fear, uncertainty, discouragement, anxiety…

    Follow up or have someone follow up for you regarding the condition of this woman. Reporters can look at police reports. I hope you find out what happened to this young woman, and are able to post it.

    The blue wall of silence is a formitable thing, I hope your police complaint board has civilians. You’ve got what you need to file, bloggers can help publicize this incident and intimidation.

    Thank you for caring for this young woman, and for giving others the ability to care also.

  • Peter

    I think this is a example of the “Palooka Factor” at work.Ottawa and other places have their share of police who believe they can operate in any fashion because they are the arm of the law. I was in a small restaurant a number of years ago, having lunch when one of Ottawas finest spied a small mouse around my feet. After pointing it out to me, he began to chase it around the place and ultimately pepper-sprayed it. Mind that this is indoors,everyone began coughing, some left after he stomped on the mouse for good measure and returned to eat at his table like this was an every day occurrance.
    In a even stranger turn of events,later that night after being awakened by a brawl in the street outside my apartment in Centretown, this very same cop shows up at my door(I called police to report the fight)and begins accusing me of being in the fight and trying to get me out of my apartment to arrest me. Funny thing though….he stopped when I mentioned the mouse incident earlier in the evening!
    Good Job!!!
    Hurray to you for sticking to your guns!

  • John

    Cut the cops’ budget now. They don’t deserve the money, and we don’t need their brand of self-serving “street justice”. It’s not one rotten apple in the barrel either – witness the fact that the others protect them. That’s a nice clear shot of him, though. It will look good up on a few websites.

    The police complaints process is a bad joke. If you’re still sufficiently pissed off about this, you might want to bring your story and your photographs to the next Police Services Board meeting. While the “civilians” (politicians) on the board kinda suck as well, this will help to keep the heat on.

    Of course, best case scenario is that this asshole (and I think I know who he is) gets put on paid administrative leave on our dime. Too bad he probably won’t get to encounter his own taste of street justice he so richly deserves.

  • The emotions are strong aren’t they? Boldness, outrage, fear, uncertainty, discouragement, anxiety…

    Gosh, yes. Zoom, everything I could say has been said better above. I am so glad to read that other citizens followed your lead and did the right thing in standing up to the bully.

  • Carmen

    There are some wonderful police officers out there. And it’s really, really not a pretty job. HOWEVER, many of them do go overboard – stress , testosterone, whatever…. it’s just not ok. And of course, those at the receiving end are usually powerless and defenseless. Not good. This officer would not have had the same attitude towards a man in a suit. As for the “undercover” line…that is crock. When “undercover” they are invisible, part of the background where they should be. So, bully, liar.

    Zoom, I like your spunk. And I need to carry my camera around with me….

  • Nancy

    Thank you for standing your ground. It is so important, and your standing firm gave others there the strength to speak out as well. Hopefully it will be easier for them to be stronger the next time they witness people harming others. Bravo!!!

  • John in Windsor

    A friend of mine had a similar incident a few years ago. He didn’t fare as well as you did in the end though. In your case, the cop walked away licking his wounds and you got the upper hand (and I congratulate you for that heartily). In his case, they arrested him on the spot, accused him of public drunkenness, wrote up a false report making him out like some kind of hooligan. For his trouble he got tossed in the paddy wagon and spent the night in jail, released eventually without charges. His only victory was having the wherewithall to later use recovery software to get back the photos the police deleted before handing his camera back.

  • Gilles

    Good on YOU, Zoom:
    Citizen journalism at its finest!!


  • Mad

    I came over to congratulate you on winning best personal blog and I find this. Am off now to add it to the link list for the Just Post roundup come January. It took courage to do what you did and to write about it.

  • mosprott

    I hope she’s okay. I *know* she’s better off than she would have been, if those a**holes had been left to their own devices. Thanks for refusing to back down.

  • I lived in Ottawa for nine years, was a member of the Ottawa Police Community Liaison Committee for LGBT issues for four years and worked as a sensitivity trainer for officers on innumerable occasions. I know some of the personalities that are capable of this kind of bullying. It’s unfortunate that the responsibility that they’re given translates into an overinflated perception of being all-powerful. The accountability isn’t there for them and they know it.

    Unfortunately these few officers whose behaviour is unbecoming taint the image of the force as a whole.

    I am glad that you were able to stand up to the officer and, perhaps, he will question his actions in the situation and learn a lesson for the future. Though I doubt it. :(

  • Well done, Zoom. Good for you for standing your ground. Miss Vicky pointed this article out and I have a post and link up at my place.

    Glad to see a Citizen journo (Dave Reevely) is on the case.

  • Good for you! Way to stand your ground. Great photos.

    BTW, congratulations on the Personal and Local blog awards – you deserve it!

  • J.

    Good for you standing your ground. I was getting a little worried there reading your post.

  • I am proud of you fellow citizen, for not backing down. And for standing up for a stranger. I’m not sure if this is a growing problem, or it is just being reported more, but the mindset of some officers, that they can conduct themselves as they wish and hide behind the badge is not acceptable

  • Guy

    Well done Zoom well done. Have your knees stopped shaking?

  • jane scharf

    i also thank you for your defense of this young woman. i am not sure who she is because i cannot make out the picture real well but it may be a young street artist who panhandles while doing her art right at this spot. she has be harassed over the past few months with safe streets tickets. she had part three to appear at centerpoint court on dec 4. i attended but her name was not on the docket. she had told stewart and i that she had been threatened that if she continued she would be arrested. she also did continue. so i suspect that they many have arrested her held her in jail and dealt with three tickets at the same time. this would explain why it was not on the docket on dec 4. is is such bs because she was not even in violation of the safe streets act. they claim she was to close to a bus stop. she was over about 200 feet away. and the act does not prohibit soliciting to close to a bus stop it prohibits soliciting people waiting a bus stop which she was not doing.

    this young woman i am talking about had two tone hair colour bond and dark brown. i know her name but i do not want to write it here. if anyone thinks this is the woman in the photo please let me know. thanks again for defending the woman who ever she is.

  • I want to express my thanks to all of you for your support and encouragement, and also to those of you who are helping to spread the word about this incident. It has been picked up so far by Stageleft, Miss Vicky, Bene Diction, Dr. Dawg, Unrepentant Old Hippy,, Excited Delirium, Skdadl at Pogge, JimBobby, and Creekside. (Did I miss anybody?)

    Just to be clear, I did not personally witness any acts of police brutality, and, as far as I know, only one of the five officers present was bullying bystanders. I say this not to minimize what happened, but because I honestly don’t believe all cops are bullies. Those who are? Pig scum.

    I’ll admit I was a little scared, but I felt much safer when that young man stepped forward and said “It’s still Canada.” Whoever he is, my hat goes off to him. That particular gathering of bystanders renewed my faith in all of us.

    I haven’t heard anything about the condition of the young woman on the sidewalk.

    Thank you again.

  • KiaRioGrl79

    Good for you for standing up for yourself, and good for the young man who yelled out, “This is still Canada!”

    Makes me proud to be living in Ottawa, knowing that somewhere out there are neighbours like you. That officer, on the other hand… he needs a clue – or two or three.

  • Tanya


  • Thanks for posting this, and standing up to that bully!

    Big congrats on both Best Local and Best Personal blogs! You had my vote for both! 😀

  • The list of blogs covering this story keeps growing: Letters Home, Sindark (Milan), Apply Liberally and Politics for the People have covered it too.

    Earlier this year a feature on my blog broke – it’s the trackback thingy, that automatically created a comment and a link back to any blog that linked to one of my posts. It was handy, but it just stopped working all of a sudden. (If anybody knows how to fix it, I’d love to hear.)

  • Shawn

    Thank you for taking the time to photograph and publish this story — especially since I immediately recognized the Hartman’s and thought, Damn, that’s in Ottawa! I suppose I hadn’t caught the title–“Bank Street Bully”–as I then would have realized that all of this was transpiring near to where I live. Good on you for standing up for your rights! I’m pleased that there were others there to remind these police officers that they are Canadians.

    I do feel like sticking my thumb in the proverbial dike, because I see many comments insinuating that we need to, in essence, ‘Fuck tha police!’ Well, no, we don’t; obviously, the behaviour above constitutes an abuse of power but to develop a mistrust of all police officers stems from that same logical fallacy that tells us that travelling via plane is more dangerous than by automobile. In truth, we only hear about one more — just as we don’t hear stories of the many good, courageous men and women that the city depends on daily.

    In short, let’s not give into prejudice; rather, let’s rationally develop a cautious scepticism and demand better levels of accountability without resorting to talking about all police officers as would-be tyrants. My own personal experiences contradict such claims thoroughly, and that sort of reactionary mob-thinking

  • Shawn

    …never leads anywhere good.

    [Sorry; don’t know why my comment got cut off like that!]

  • sheila

    As a US citizen, can I say “ouch” to the commenter’s slam against my country? Unfortunately, law enforcement and the military has been attractive to goons and thugs since time immemorial. They should have a way of screening these people out, but the ranks would probably be decimated. Brava, Zoom, for turning the light on in this room the bullies would rather keep dark. I think I might have caved (if not peed in my pants).

  • Tom Sawyer

    zoom! is my HERO!

    By the way, that female cop looks hot-diggity-hot. I’d let her cuff me any night of the week.

  • Tom Sawyer

    Okay. On a serious note: Police work can be shitty work. They deal with lots of shitty people and they get into lots of shitty situations. Right? They see a lot of shitty things.

    “Hmmm,” a friend of mine says. “But they choose policing as their career.”

    Okay. Kinda like joining the army: Your chances of dealing with shit (and gettin’ blowed up, too) is much greater than, say, some loser like me living in my buddy’s basement.

    I rarely go outside anymore; it’s too noisy and too dark.

  • molly

    You absolutely did the right thing and showed a lot of strength under pressure, good onya! I just wanted to add that here in the US it’s best to call the fire department paramedics when you find a homeless person that needs help. They are usually really compassionate and have nothing to gain by having anyone arrested.

  • Pete

    I’ve also reported this to police services. I don’t know if you’re interested, but this is probably something CBC Radio One (Ottawa Morning or All in a Day) would pick up.

  • A. Starr

    Due to a recent influence, I would recommend throwing two shoes at him.

  • Hack

    There is virtually no excuse for the extent of the violence you outlined. But what might have happened if you had offered to fuzz out that officer’s face when publishing? Would it have lessened the effect of your piece? Would it have made the cops feel better?

  • Just call the police and ask them. With or without identifying yourself, if that information is available, they’ll let you have it. Though it probably isn’t because her health is none of your business unless you’re her next of kin.

    While you’re after getting informed though, you might be interested to know that resisting arrest is a serious criminal offense, the police don’t take kindly to it at all and they’re not trained to lose fights. Being that you’re in Ottawa, maybe the name Chris Worden means something to you. Chris did the exact same thing to my boyfriend for resisting arrest i.e. slamming his head into the ground, almost tasered him, and some other unpleasantness. On top of being injured, my boyfriend got thirty days with no priors whatsoever, and the police keep a close eye on him whenever he’s in town, plus they have a note in his file for “violence against police” and if he gets in trouble again they’re gonna be that much quicker to lay a beating on him, plus his prior will be a factor in his sentencing. And this is a guy with no prior involvement with police at all until then, whereas your person here obviously was already known to them. She got exactly what she had coming for fighting with them, and no doubt she’ll be charged for it.

    But hey, bully for you for undermining your police service. What with all the hard, dangerous work they do for you, they sure deserve that kind of spite and lack of cooperation. Your attitude is why cops get killed.

  • Ya know what Mongoose? That’s total B/S

    1] Excessive force/violence is not excusable. Police are very well trained in the use of force and slamming anyones head into the pavement is above and beyond unless their lives were in danger.

    2] How do you explain the officer trying to intimidate by-standers?

    Your excuse them anything because they are the authorities attitude is what leads to crap like this happening.

  • The Rounder

    I,ve been involved with criminal enterprises for about fourty years. If you show no fear in these police officers you can back nine out of ten of these supposidly “peace officers” down to earth. It’s only when they know that they can’t intimidate you that they fold like a cheap tent.

  • UK citizen

    I’m not Canadian and I’m not in Canada, I’m in the UK (where we have things like this going on too), but I want you to know that some of us around the world look up to you Canadians for the best that you stand for.

    It’s still Canada. So damned grateful for that.

  • MJ

    Mongoose: while you are entitled to your own opinion, I feel I must call your intelligence into question. I will reconsider if you come up with some reasonable answers to post 67.

    Good work Zoom! Your attitude is what helps keep policing a respectable profession (and they could certainly use some help lately).

  • J. Bird

    This is a heart breaking story. About the only thing I can say is, had this occured in Vancouver, they would have tazered her as well! I am glad you published this.

  • Mary

    Hey, I’m wondering if this is my little sister, it says some one knows or thinks they know who this is, could you tell me if its Scynthia Ross. It certainly looks like her, and she missed work today. please get back to me as soon as possible, my family is going out of our minds. Thanks, Mary.

  • Zoom, you’re amazing. Thank you.

  • Zoom:
    Thanking for reporting this ! It is unacceptable in Canada.I don’t want to bring politics into this but I can tell you it is under investigation at the highest level by one of our political parties !

  • GREAT job on this. Everyone.

    I’m so sick of these intimidation tactics on the part of police. Is this kind of thing happening more often, or are we just more aware of it? I don’t know.

    Something VERY worrying happened to my niece several months ago. She is nineteen-years old and was driving home from a movie with her boyfriend in the passenger seat, on a fairly deserted but main roadway. She was not wearing a seatbelt and she was stopped for that. Fine. But, once stopped, I guess the officer realized these were two young kids whom he could mess with.

    He claimed that he had seen the passenger throw a “joint” out the passenger window before the vehicle stopped. Mind you, it was dark and had been raining and he was on the opposite side of the vehicle. My niece and her boyfriend denied that they had been using marijuana but the officer would not relent. He called out a drug taskforce with a big van and sniffer dogs and the drug helicopter that regularly patrols this area of Durham County. I’m not kidding.

    They searched my niece’s vehicle and pulled it apart with the helicopter hovering. They found … absolutely nothing. No trace whatsoever that marijuana had been present, in any amount at all.

    Nevertheless, they charged my niece with driving under the influence of a prohibited substance, suspended her license and charged her with speeding as well, though they had no proof of any of it. They told her to call someone to get her car and drive her home or they would confiscate the vehicle.

    My sister and I drove to “the scene”. My niece and her boyfriend were sitting on the curbside, clearly terrified. The officer in charge lectured my sister on taking care of her kids and asked where my niece’s father was. He didn’t skip a beat when my sister replied that her husband is dead but continued browbeating her about her responsibilities as a parent and then continued on about the power he had to make sure that my niece’s vehicle was pulled over by Durham police every time anyone drove it, even if it was not my niece. I challenged this idea, briefly, and then decided that the best thing we could all do in the face of his bullying was to get out of there.

    As we walked away, my niece began telling us what had happened in a fairly excited tone of voice. I noticed the officer staring at us and he looked as though he were about to intervene. I told my niece to shut up until we got away from there. I was afraid of the guy and didn’t know what more he might be capable of.

    What I HATE about this experience is what it taught my niece and her young boyfriend about the police. They are to be feared more than to be relied upon. They can treat you unfairly and there’s not much you can do about it on a lonely road in the dark.

    My niece was not physically harmed. However, it was emotionally fairly traumatic. And it made us all feel small and helpless. Over a seatbelt. It’s ridiculous. And it’s out of hand.

  • Mary – as a family member, perhaps you should call 911 and find out what hospital Scynthia Ross was taken to. I’ll do whatever I can to find out what’s up (I know of your sister), and let you know if I find out anything. Stay strong, my heart is with you and your family.

    I have a question for the guy who accused some of us here as promoting a “fuck the police” mentality or attitude. Correction: it’s the police who promote this attitude. I get awfully tired of people calling cops “heroes”, doing a “difficult job” (yeah, all 5 of them in that picture look like they’re really gainfully employed doing tough work, huh?), “only a few bad apples”, etc.

    I thought that the comment about “good” cops, paramedics, other professionals who deal with the aftermath of these rather unequal confrontations who “quietly thank” people who force accountability and fight for justice was very telling. Listen, it’s NOT my job, and it’s not this blog author’s job either. If they’re so “heroic”, why are they “quiet supporters” and not actively doing something to drum sociopaths like out of the force? Show me one who has taken such measures and I’ll acknowledge that such a cop is not a swine, until then…yeah, fuck the police!

    People unfamiliar with the history of the institution of urban policing should look into it – not a particularly noble profession. I recommend a book called “Our Enemies in Blue” – you can buy a copy at Exile Infoshop on Bank St., not far up the street from where this incident happened.)

  • Fred

    That’s Officer Post. All the people on Bell street know him by name as well. He is notorious for walking into people’s apartments without permission and jacking up anyone that looks poor/like a drug addict. I’m not surprised it was him. This is typical of his behaviour.

  • Ken

    Mary I saw Scynthia & Zach by the Rideau Centre an hour ago. She’s fine.

  • V. Terese

    Although I do not know this woman I am geniunely worried for her. If they smashed her face enough to have to call an ambulance–you can just imagine what she has/ is enduring while in custody–behind closed doors.

    Last summer I asked a cop why he was arresting my friend. I was arrested for “assaulting a police officer” then my other friend was arrested after she asked for badge numbers. 2 of us were charged and we were subjected to sexual assault and harassment while in custody. The charges put my career on hold for a year.

    I have filed a complaint through the Professional Standards Division and just found out it has been closed. There was not enough evidence–even though it happened within the Elgin Cop Shop. I have witnessed some of the videotaped footage of my time in custody, but it’s incomplete and possibly edited.

    So my lawyer and I are appealing to the Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services. Probably another waste of my time and the taxpayers’ money.

    The Ottawa police are corrupt and shouldn’t be investigating themselves. Videotaped footage and public blogging the the only way to get some measure of accountability. Keep it up, Zoom and everyone else.

  • John: If giving bad cops the finger makes you feel better, fine. I agree it is not our job to wait for professional officers to say thank you.

    “If they’re so “heroic”, why are they “quiet supporters” and not actively doing something to drum sociopaths like out of the force?”

    What else would you have those of us not in Ottawa do John?
    I don’t see anyone here is taking this young woman lying unconscious on an Ottawa sidewalk lightly.
    The experiences being spilled in this comment thread have changed people’s lives.

    Zoom witnessed a young woman being treated like a piece of garbage. I don’t see commenters naively thinking they can save the world, right now there is an unidentifed woman who has for all intensive purposes disappeared.

    Who is she and what has happened to her?

    My question back to you – What else can we be doing to:
    a) ensure this young woman’s safety
    b) work to see these officers do not do this to someone else’s daughter, granddaughter, sister, friend?

  • John

    Hi Bene D.

    My comment (and my read of the original comment) about the quiet supporters doesn’t have to do with people who aren’t from Ottawa reading this blog post – it has to do with the so-called “good apples” in the same barrel (the OPS). There were 5 cops who were witnesses to Officer Post’s misconduct. If there were “good apples” among them, what have they done to bring the rogue officer to account in order to deal with their besmirched collective reputation. If past experience and simple observation counts for anything, they will cover for the guy. And once a complaint is filed, they will do the same as what’s happened with me, Velvet and countless other people time and time again – they will send you a letter defending the officers’ conduct.

    What can we do? Well, the first thing we can do is to look more critically at the culture and institution of urban policing so that we divest ourselves of any illusions about what the non-property owning, poorer residents and people who stand up to these assholes are encountering are “a few bad apples”. (Even if there are particular notorious individuals who stand out because of their sociopathic ways.)

    You are right though – more immediately, we need to find out what happened to this vulnerable young woman following her treatment by Ottawa’ swinest. I’m trying to do what I can to find out who she is and what hospital she was sent to, and I’ll let you know if I find out anything ASAP.

  • How can I go about getting confirmation that this is Officer Post? (Thanks for that, by the way, Fred.)

    I’m also still very interested in knowing who the young woman was/is. (Jane – I’m familiar with the artist you mentioned – I’ve seen her sitting there drawing. I can’t say for sure though whether she is or is not the unconscious woman. Same slim build, but the hair colour was different.)

    The stories you’ve all been leaving have made the hair on my neck stand up.

    By the way, CBC Radio and the Ottawa Citizen have both expressed interest in pursuing this story.

    Mongoose – I respect your right to express a differing opinion on all this. But your opinion that my attitude is why cops get killed makes absolutely no sense to me.

  • deb

    I wonder if this interest from CBC Radio will spark another twist in your life? The last time they talked to you, it was life changing…maybe this time too?

  • Linda Anne

    Good for you for standing up for those who cannot defend themselves – I only hope that I would be as strong and brave as you in a similiar situation. Also, I do hope that the media does pick up on the story. The bad apples need to be weeded out to protect society and to protect the reputations of those officers who don’t act in this way.

    Also – congrats on your wins!!

    Cheers – Linda Anne

  • Update: I’ve heard from a trustworthy source that the young woman is okay.

  • One of the interesting things I’ve noted since moving out of the city is that I don’t fear the police anymore.

    In my little town we have the rcmp and they’re all patently good guys (and women…girls sounds wrong, guys sounds right) who we know by name and who know our kids, and well there isn’t the same anonymity with them.

    Urban police though? Ugh. In Toronto in the early 90’s my upstairs neighbour called the police because the neighbours across the street were having a drunken row about dogshit and one had brought out his shotgun. (“retired” bikers) I didn’t know anything about it, I’d been painting in the basement the whole time.

    But the police came banging on my door and when I answered it this HUGE cop rushed me into the hallway threw me up against the wall screaming in my face about guns and stuff and I managed to sputter out “I don’t know anything about this!” and he screamed some more saying I was lying.

    My neighbour was hiding behind HER door and when she saw how rough he was being with me she peeked out and said she’d called.

    So he started screaming at her to show him where the gun was. She gave the address and he got pissed off and screamed some more about not putting police lives in danger and how she had to show him where and she balked and he hauled her out the front door and half holding her off the ground marched her across the street to SHOW HIM!!!

    If urban cops feel like there is a line between them and the public and that they don’t get any support or respect it isn’t because the public are all criminals, its because of the way they treat the public.

    I completely understand why so many communities “didn’t see anything” – they aren’t afraid of their neighbours, they are afraid of the police. With good reason.

    Good for you Zoom!

    I hope this goes viral!

  • And about the assumptions about who lives in the city, rent or own etc. We were students in our apartment, upstairs they were an elementary school teacher and a real estate lawyer, next door were a group of Jesuits. We all paid property tax as part of our rent…in Toronto our rent receipts actually showed what percentage was property tax…I always wondered why they didn’t do that in Ottawa?

  • concerned

    Anyone who actually witnessed this should call the Ottawa Police’s Complaint Department and tell them.

  • Good work.

    I hope the young woman is ok.

    Goto the media. They might not care. But its still important.

  • Thanks for writing this. I posted it on my twitter feed for more exposure.

  • I work as the officer in charge of the Professional Standards Section at the Ottawa Police Service and am currently reviewing this matter at the request of Chief Vern White.

    The Service recognizes that there are specific concerns raised here about the conduct of Ottawa Police officers. For everyone’s information, the police service takes any allegation of this type very seriously and encourages anyone with such a concern to visit our site at:

    or to contact our Professional Standards Section at (613) 236-1222 ext 5830 to speak with an investigator, or to obtain more information on the process.

    In order to comply with due process in matters such as this one, we do not comment on specific cases until any investigation is concluded and a decision is reached about the possible laying of any charges under the Ontario Police Services Act.

    If you have any further questions or comments, please direct them to . Your concern will then be forwarded to me or to the appropriate person responsible within the police service.

    Should you have been a witness to this incident, please contact the Professional Standards Section as your assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    Denis Cléroux

    Professional Standards Section
    Staff Sergeant
    Central Division centrale
    Ottawa Police

  • John

    I’m from Calgary, and it has a “cowboy” reputation, especially in Ontario. But I have to say that 99% of my interactions with and observations of Calgary cops have been positive. They are almost always professional.

    Now I have met some thoroughly decent Ottawa officers, but I am not exaggerating when I say that 50%+ of them seem to be testosterone-fueled goons. I have seen incidents similar to the one you describe. I’ve seen legitimate crimes go unanswered while I routinely see multiple cars wort of officers harassing homeless people. I’m not sure what it is about this city, but we have some sh*tty cops. It also seems to be the only city that actually has too MANY cops as opposed to too few.

  • Thanks John, thanks zoom.

  • Soha Kneen

    Hey all;

    Just in case is thinking of making a complaint to the Ottawa – do not go through the formal process! I’ve got some experience with this as I was harrassed by a police officer the day the squat was taken down (7 year squat on Gilmore). The officer had made sexually suggestive comments to me (I was doing legal support for the squatters and demonstrators that day). I did go to the police station to make a formal complaint. The staff seargant that spoke to me on that day obviously immediately discouraged me from taking any form of action. But I also learned something that day (due to persistence and generally being pissed off). If you go through the informal process (as the formal one pretty much never gets anywhere) each and every complaint goes across the Ontario super intendent’s desk. If many of these complaints are attributed to a police offer they will NOT receive their promotions! I ended up demanding and receiving a written appology from the two officers (the one who harrassed me and the one who witnessed the whole thing and didn’t help me) in question…which means nothing…but by making this complaint (hoping that more people also did this and I can’t see this being a one-of-a-kind incident by this so-called police officer) I got them where it hurts…hopefully at least a bit.

    Anyway, the story above is appalling and not surprizing! I’ve been threatened with obstruction and arrest while witnessing the harrassment of people on Bank and Elgin Street also. Keep it up in sending this thing far and wide!!!!!

  • Good job Zoom! !! Getting this to the point where the Ottawa police feel compelled to address it in the blogoshere is notable indeed.

    I’m not so sure that anything will ever come of their “review” given that, like most police forces, they will probably investigate themselves (we all know how that tends to work out don’t we?) but with pictures of the event, by-stander descriptions of what happened, and the report of the intimidation you experienced, splashed all over the Internet, neither these officers careers, nor the image of the Ottawa Police in general, are going to fair well – and that is something that the rest of them are going to remember.

  • If you’re in a public place you have the right to take photos. Good for you for not backing down. We all should carry cameras everywhere to capture these kinds of things.

    The police should be ashamed of themselves for the use of excessive force and for trying to intimidate citizens who witnessed it.

    It’s time we had proper civilian oversight and review of these types of incidents. There also needs to be a sufficient deterrent to this type of behaviour. If cops know they’re just going to have desk duty for a while almost no matter what they do, why would they stop?

    A criminal act should be dealt with in a criminal fashion, no matter who commits it.

    Citizens need to stand up and fight this kind of behaviour. If we don’t, the logical end to it is that we’ll end up in a police state where this is the norm and not the exception.

    Think it’s not happening? We first heard Dziekanski was tasered twice. It turns out it was five times.

    How many have died at the hands of police this way? I’m surprised they didn’t taser that helpless woman.

    It’s going to happen more and more often unless we stop it.

  • Eric G

    I’ve never really gotten used to the extreme presence of police and security guards in Ottawa. I’m from Alberta where they’re mich more civil and far less visible.

    Though I respect the need for “normal” pedestians to be safe , the last thing the homless population needs is to be abused.

  • Man-as i am reading this i am holding my breath and also applauding you for standing up for yourself.AND thinking this should be reported as bullying-you can do it anonymously…….
    keep us ‘posted’

  • stew

    It was 2 years ago at a bank st community meeting where Dianne Morrison and Staff Sgt John Lamoth manipulated the community into believing that they needed the BIA and the police to refurbish the bank st sector and resolve street problems that did not exist or that they, the community could easily handle themselves. We tried to warn the community.
    Since then the peaceful street community has seen nothing but needless police harassment which has escalated to this obscene display of Ottawa’s finest beating up a woman in the streets.

    It would seem that if the police can not justify their excessive presence within a peaceful community with gentlemen in blue that they are perfectly willing to hire dumb as a post cops to go in and make trouble where there is none.

    When the state chooses to give a gun to men who beat women in public
    there is a problem.

    It is inspiring to see so many concerned and I sincerely hope that we can both help this young woman and resolve this problem.

  • you need to know

    Do any of you actually know for a fact who the person they put to the ground is? Why is everyone assuming she’s “just a lil thing”?? Who knows what she has in her pockets or jacket, IE: Knife, gun, weapons. Police officers need to keep their guards up in case anybody would actually have that kind of stuff on them. If she was wanted, or had a warrant, should the police officer ask her politely to put the cuffs on? Come on! They don’t go around arresting people for fun, it’s hard and dangerous work. I say “Good job! Ottawa Police.” Not to mention, the “Undercover cop” How do you know what case you completley destroyed because you think they did was wrong without having any kind of fact…at ALL! You put his job at risk for doing his job regardless of his tone. Who are you to judge?

    Yes, some cases of police brutality exist, but people will jump to conclusion and assume the worst. I think Ottawa Police does a great job and you may need their help someday.

    Stop manipulating the media by stringing pieces of a story together with misinformation.

  • Laura

    Every organization has its yahoos. I suspect this dork (officer Post? anyone confirmed that?) is an embarrassment to his superiors. It’s a shame the dorks are out there, but they are, and not just in the police force. As a teacher I have met a few teachers and one vice-principal who are just as power-hungry and basically stupid/nasty as this guy. But there are lots more teachers — and police — doing a fine job, or at the very least, a decent one. Don’t judge an entire profession by one asshole.

    Police brutality? Maybe. One asshole? More likely. And anyone know what this woman was charged with? Presumably there was some reason that she was arrested.

  • Arden

    While I think it’s best to show the police respect and good manners, and to give them the benefit of the doubt ahead of time, there does seem to be an overly agressive attidue found among MANY members of the Ottawa police force. While I agree that there are lots of great police officers in this city, along with the few rotten ones, the great ones aren’t doing anything to root out the bad apples, and instead defend them and their behaviour, and that’s simply unacceptable. As several have pointed out, if it was only one out of line cop, what were the other 4-5 cops doing?

  • Gilles

    Police wanted photos erased, blogger claims
    Ottawa Citizen
    December 17, 2008

    Congratulations, Zoom – well done!

  • jane scharf

    way to go zoom. if this is not the artist i would also like to get in touch with her so if anyone sees her my number is 613 884-9065.

    i think we should keep the pressure on the police with this situation and not let it go away until we know that the woman is ok and the officers are taken to task.

    i am going to attend the next police services board meeting on jan 19 to raise this issue. hopefully other concerned citizens will also. police need to know that we will no longer tolerate this type of abuse and intimidation by police in our community. perhaps a concerned citizens meeting would be in order. i can try to find space if others want to meet.

    those people who are trying to defend these actions give your head a shake. there is nothing else i need to know to take a stance against this abuse of authority. i have seen it many times before and i have been subject to it many times before including false arrest and imprisonment when i did nothing illegal or threatening merely protested peacefully against mistreatment of our homeless community members.

    i want us to draw a line in the sand for the police department and let them know there will be consequences if the line is crossed again.

  • Stephanie

    It actually pains me to see this happening in Ottawa; however it’s a wake-up call in realizing that this does take place probably on a daily basis. I guarantee that if you ask any homeless person on the street, they will tell you many stories about uncalled for police brutality.

    As for the complaint, that too is a waste of time. Police solidarity is so strong, that it is probably their most important non-written value. It goes beyond doing what’s right, what the law says, etc. I have almost NEVER seen a police officer getting corrective action taken against him/her and even LESS getting charged for a wrongdoing, although they themselves commit crimes against people all the time. But God forbid if anything happens to a police officer: the moment even an insult gets hurled at them, they arrest the person and charge them.

    I am SICK of the media always siding with the police. It’s about time they started reporting on acts of police brutality! The less it gets reported, the more the police think they can get away with murder, which they already do.

    Great story, i’m extremely proud that a woman stood up to an aggressive male police officer! It rarely happens and I commend you for it.

  • B

    You know you people are SO quick to judge. You are quick to storm in with the mindset that you are “helping the victim” and under that premise doing something which may impede an officers job.
    Has anyone for a second thought of the risks officers go through on a daily basis for YOU?
    You think you may know the facts but do you really?
    You are the same people who want cleaner streets but “shudder” when you see a criminal run from the cops and then get chased and physically handeled rather than what? “Oh please stop, here’s some candy .. lets talk???”.
    Try and understand what they do and oh.. lets NOT paint all police officers with the same brush … but of course you all become experts on what is right and wrong.
    Not ONE post on here on ANY such forums commending an officer on keeping your neighbourhood safe, not one post regarding the numerous officers who die each yer so YOU can enjoy your right to walk the streets.
    I am not saying they are all angels, but this mob mentality sickens me.
    Educate yourself and post as a whole, does anyone know the exact FACTS in the situation presented above?
    I respect public perception is important but couple that with the knowledge before you spit your words on a forum and discredit someone who literally risks their life for you.

  • KiaRioGrl79

    Zoom, you got into the Citizen! I notice they didn’t include a link to this post, and there’s no comments allowed on the story (shocking, I know), but at least this way it might get more attention.

    And hey, your actions actually prompted a reporter to directly question the police chief! Good on ya!

  • mynalee johnstone

    Thank god(dess) for progressive bloggers!

  • mynalee johnstone

    This reminds me of a video shot at an airport in Vancouver last year of the take down of a man . Tazered to death.

  • John

    To “B”,

    Did you even read the story at the top of this blog? Are you doubting that zoom is telling the truth? Are you actually alleging that she’s making up the facts of this matter? Or are you simply covering for the cops? Are you a cop? (Maybe the folks in Professional Services haven’t taught you that you need to make these same arguments in more subtle ways – and do you know what percentage of these complaints are upheld?)

    If you actually read the story and think about it and some of the other stories in the commentary, maybe then you might understand why the vast majority of the comments here are as they are. These comments resonate with many, many people in this community.

    If we want cleaner and safer streets, we would be far better off putting more money into the snow removal budget.

    I would also like to declare a national day to remember all the 7-11 clerks who’ve died in the line of duty, because believe it or not, it’s a far higher risk occupation than being a police officer. I don’t want to trivialize any on-the-job death or violence, but I don’t want to put the H&S issues of the cops on a pedestal when the incidence of morbidity/mortality of that occupation is so greatly exaggerated.

    The more we deal with problems in our community and neighbourhoods on our own, without police involvement, the better we all are for it. We don’t need cops beating up defenseless homeless kids and/or extorting them for drugs and sex as also happens in this fair city. And we don’t need them extorting the rest of us with their regular budget increases outside of the regular budget process (last year was close to 13%), while useful programs and services that I support my taxes going towards remain chronically underfunded.

    Maybe, B, just maybe, you need to learn a few of the facts that maybe YOU haven’t been considering. Or at least acknowledge them when they’re right in front of your eyes. I’m tired of cops and wannabes with their “hear no evil, see no evil” mentality when it comes to criminality within the ranks.

    Most likely this so-called “criminal” (NB: the police chief still won’t acknowledge than panhandling is actually lawful activity in this country) was running because of PTSD from prior abusive encounters, or maybe because she missed appearing on yet another bogus Part III summons under the Safe Streets Act because she couldn’t afford bus fare to Constellation Court, didn’t have any representation, and didn’t want to be picked up on breach.

    Yeah, that young woman sure looks like a criminal alright. Uh huh. You know who looks like a criminal to me? That fucking pig. Keep making our neighbourhood “safe” with your jacked-up ‘roid rage, asshole.

  • You people have no clue

    Note to John:

    You have no clue what you are talking about. I agree with “B” 100% And zoom might be talking out of her hat, who knows. It’s a frustrating world. When you go up to a drug dealer and politly ask him to stop and to give in, see what happens. I hope you have fun that.
    Go Ottawa POLICE!!

  • Joe

    wow zoom, you have an amazing ability to recall lengthy vebatim conversations…reads more like a short story than reality. You and the rest of you that have submitted comments have no idea why the police were there, if the girl was even arrested or just detained or apprehended under mental health. Zoom didn’t even see what happened. But as is typical of the left wing, facts and logic confuse you so you’ve concluded that the woman was homeless and abused for being such and zoom’s word is the word of god.

    Funny how a self proclaimed champion for the homeless also violates this womans integrity and embarasses her by plastering her face all over the internet during what is clearly low point in her life. But hey, she’s just some homeless girl anyway right?

  • John

    Thanks cops! Keeping cheering yourselves on. And in the off-hand chance that you’re not cops, give your head a shake.

  • You people have no clue

    To Joe,

    YAY JOE!! You are absolutley right.

  • THat Cop

    Who cares about that hooker on Bank Street?

  • Stephanie

    To B,

    I think you should get your facts right. Who’s to know if we’re educated or not?! I happen to be EXTREMELY educated in the police field as well as have to deal with them on a regular basis. I know their culture as well as the way they work.

    And for all of you who say that they risk their lives everyday… give me a break! They only have potential violent encounters in 3% of all their dealings! And usually that is with specialized police who are in risky positions, such as being on a drug squad or being undercover for organized crime. But as for your everyday patrol cop, the odds that they see violence are EXTREMELY low. Citizens walking to work are probably exposed to the same amount of potential violence.

    I know what I am talking about, I respect most police officers as well as members of the armed forces, but I completely disagree with treating citizens however way they want. And it happens everyday.

  • From the article: “If I’m concerned after the review, then Professional Standards will continue with an investigation,” Chief White said Wednesday.

    Real serious about this aren’t they, if White is concerned it will go further — I am not hopeful.

  • V. Terese

    Denis Cleroux,

    Do your damn job! The whole complaint process is a joke. The complainant is interrogated then your department does not even have to respond after that. I was left in the dark for a year until a reporter started to inquire about why the OPS did nothing about the rape I had reported. I used the Sexual Assault Protocol and outlined how the OPS did not follow any of it. Still…it went nowhere.

    My second complaint was about sexual assault and harassment committed by a group of cops. Even though the sexual assault that I endured by the Ottawa police should have been caught on tape and witnessed by several officers, you still can’t find enough evidence. Where did it go?

    Is your job to make excuses for the “bad apples”? Is your job to calm down the public? Is it to make sure that your budget keeps getting increased every year?

    The corruption within the OPS is much worse than most people think. Someone should do something about it. Isn’t that YOUR job, Denis?

  • DX

    I doubt this happened the way zoom imagines it (complete with dialogue) but so what if it did? I walk down Somerset to Hartmans several times a week, and if it weren’t for the cops, these ‘poor little things’ would be the ones knocking people down. As a person who actually lives in the neighbourhood, I’d just as soon put my faith in the cops. Go play mommy somewhere else.

  • stew

    100. Do I need to know, who she is and what she had in her pockets?

    She may have had a grenade in her pocket or she may have had a can of infelac and was racing home to feed her baby cause her angry x maliciously called Children’s Aid on her and they were coming over to check to see if her kitchen was messy so they could apprehend her child if it was and make thousands of dollars in funding. So she needed to run home quickly and feed the baby so it wasn’t crying when they the CAS walked in the door with an officer of the law to support them without question. I wonder if her baby is screaming for food this very minute or worse.
    The point is that it is one thing to be aware of danger, it is altogether another to be paranoid. Yes I imagine that this would be very hard work for you, however there are many good officers about who seem to do the job with much less difficulty. It may be good advice that you should seek new employment and quite possibly therapy.
    Oh, and by the way, pictures are evidence.
    Judgment is the result of the process of rational or independent thought. Impeding this process leads to poor judgment. Where is this gun that I am sure that you can now produce that your poor judgment calls our attention to. Who is twisting the media now?

    Quite simply, a man with a gun just beat a woman to unconcousness in the streets of the capital city of Canada. This disrespect for women of the lower class is growing far more predominant as our
    social institutions like CAS and the now the police are exploiting our tendency to assume that they deserve to be punished.

    They are social victims many of which are suffering incredible levels of Post Traumatic Stress. If officers on the street do not understand PTS dynamics they worsen the problem and create far more social problems than they will ever solve.

    Arden seems to have a clear view and relevant point. Our indifference is often the problem. It is often however the problem of fear. The fear that one has of individuals like “B” who are out there thinking that I want his help with anything. He is risking his life for nothing but money, not you or I.

    To B
    I’ve seen many cops who could sit by my campfire any time. In fact, I know of many individuals who compliment cops for doing a good job.
    In fact even Jane read out her commendation at the police services board. I compliment good cops whenever I can. It is no small wonder that you do not get this. you are a goof.

    To Joe
    It sounds like you are having a lot of difficulty with this. So am I. So is everyone.
    A soldier’s first duty is to defend those who can not defend themselves, not defend your buddy who clearly fucked up.

    Keep smokin em john and stephanie
    Zoom, you are truely great, thank you

  • Scynthia Ross

    This is in regards to the post by “That cop” number 115, I realy hope you are not a member of the police. Do you have so little compashin for the dissinfanchisd to asume that all poor people are hookers? That is ubserd, not all poor people are homeless, not all homeless people are panhandlers and not all panhandlers do things on the side(ie. hooking) I am a street involved youth,I am a 19 year old girl and I have never even thought of hooking as a means of making cash and I know that this Lisa girl who pans in front of Hartmans the one that I belive this happend too and I know for a fact that she dose not even do drugs, so why would you asume she would be a hooker? When you have no basses for your comments you should’nt make them.

  • John

    Dear DX,

    As another “person who actually lives in the neighbourhood”, I’d like to urge you to fuck off to Barrhaven.


  • jane scharf

    does anyone else want to meet after new years to plan a strategy to address this issue?

  • Jane – I’d like to first wait and see what happens with the Chief’s Complaint. I have no idea how long these things take – days? weeks?

  • After posting a comment and link to this story on my blog , I am getting several hits a day from an unknown “commercial ” domain name in Ottawa. Has anyone else had a similiar experience ? Could big brother be monitoring ?

  • Interesting story. Please keep us posted.

  • danielle

    I’ve just picked up this entry and it really sounds like what has been happening in France for some time. The French police have been given carte blanche to harass the people living in housing developments to such a point that kids are afraid of them even if they haven’t done anything – 2 young boys were electrocuted running away from the police through fear. Anyone who even asks the police what they’re doing when there are doubtful practices is charged with ‘agressing a police officer’. This government and the ones before it have told the police that whatever they do they will defend them so they can do whatever they want and make up stories and tell lies and they will always be right! They twist things around so that they become the victims.
    The bus controllers have taken up the same attitude.
    You must try to stop them before they get out of hand. This behaviour is condemned in so-called ‘banana republics’ but acceptable in ‘developped’ countries.

  • Roxanne

    My name is Roxanne and I am victim of Police Brutality.On August 23rd 2008 my roomate who was a military cop and also worked with the Ottawa Police called one of his friends who I had met prior showed up to my home with a fellow female officer who I did not know and asked for my roomate Devon . My friend and I were sitting on the front steps of our shared house when they arrived. I went inside to get Devon and they proceeded to the front of the house outside the gates. The spoke for about 10 mintues then the three of them approached the two of us sitting there. Devon stood beside me while the male officer stood in front of me and his female partner behind him. The male officer told me and I quote to get my fucking stuff and that I no longer lived in the house and to get the fuck off the property. I asked him why what did I do ? He said Devon who was a military cop, trained snipper and had been to Afgahnistan twice was afraid for his life??? I asked him how that was possible since I didnt even know Devon was in the house until 15 minutes before they arrived. I then said I was going to call my mother to get me which I did. My mother asked to speak to the officer and the officer told me to fuck off and slapped the phone out of my hand. I picked the phone up and went to turn in the house to get some stuff and the make officer jumped me from behind saying your lunging at Devon. He threw me up against the wall and said your under arrest for resisting arrest which I then asked how does that make sense He then threw me to the ground and began to beat me. He put is boot on the side of my face and told me to get up, I told him I cant your standing on my face. Then the beating started as other officers arrived 6 cruisers in all. I weigh about 125 pounds and am 5 foot 7 . 5 of the male officers beat the hell out of me. They broke my wrist and my radius bone on my right arm. They burned my hand on the metal of a running car, they slammed me into the ground holding me by my broken wrist and my pants and dragged me across the ashphalt. I recieved many many injuries. I had advised the officers that I had a brain injury and to stop slamming my head off the car which of course they continued to do. The 5 male officers beat on me while the female stood there threatening to pepper spray me.My friend Sean was screaming to stop hurting me and tried to take pictures as well but the police threatened him and said they would charge him if he did. The enventually charged him with obstruction of justice and officer DeeShaw punched him in the face. My mother arrived on the scene and caught them. When I was brought to the police station mulitple officers pulled me out of the car and one of them then broke my arm. I was screaming and in shock. They threw me in a cell where I was stipped naked and left for 8 hrs beaten bloody and naked. They released me into the street at 2:00 am in the morning. I have the pictures of the injuries and of course this is now with the lawyers . I would like to state I am not a criminal. I am a mother of a 18 yr old son. I am educated and have worked for top IT companies. I have no history of violence my only crime was living with Devon. I wqas 2 move out in a few days as he had become violent and threatening telling me I was going to get hurt. I dont believe all police are bad I have family who are Ottawa Cops and they are good people. We as a society need to wake the hell and see the truth , we pay taxes so they get paid and do their job so we have the right not to be beaten brutally by these people. Im a ordinary citizen and if you think this cant happen to you then your wrong they told me we are paid gangstas and we can do what we want.. Think about it if the streets are so safe and crime is down why are so many people dying ? How many crimes were being commited while they were busy beating me?

  • jane scharf

    the photo of the single cop is now missing from the article.

  • Jane – it was never part of the article. You can see it in two places: Comment #14 above. And in the Bank Street Bully Update post.

  • Roxanne, I’m sorry this happened to you but I’m glad to hear you’re pursuing it through legal channels.

  • zim

    I’m shocked by the level of abuse I’m reading about. I’m glad at least there is a non-media forum – or new-media forum if you like – so people can inform each other widely. We know photos of abusive cops won’t make it to the papers, and vital details likely won’t either. I’ve noticed that for efficiency local papers/media get info spoon-fed to them, so not working as hard on a regular basis for their news, they don’t want to lose that by being on permanent not-welcome status by pissing off the local police force. Investigative journalism hits a stand-still. Perhaps even stands the risk of no longer existing.

  • I saw the Polish man teseared in one canadian airport some months ago. i don’t know why Canadian Polish use teaser. In Europe teaser doesn’t uses by anyone police, that i kbnow. Teaser is a very warning element of ‘defence’. I think that the use of a little colt for example a cal.22 can stop every man ( or woman as in that case). It’s a very bad thing, for me, to see the famouse brutality of US’s police used also by canadian police. Canada is a Country with an image of peace, tranquillity and relax, to see these things is very very bad. ( Excuse my bad english language, I’m italian, and i’d like to exchange my links with You)

  • thenonconformer

    The bad city hall managers hire bad cops starting with the bad police chief now too.. as simple as that.

    bad managers hire bad cops Canada wide still too

  • This is so sad. More than the situation.

    You know, we Yanks look up North for y’all to set the example. If your police get caught up in this sort of nonsense, I don’t know if there is much hope for a place like New Orleans.

  • […] December Just Post list was their last, and I was honoured to receive an award for my Bank Street Bully post. (My first Just Post award was in November, for Harm Reduction in the Context of Real […]

  • This may interest you:

    UK to introduce “photograph a cop, 10 years in jail” law
    By Cory Doctorow on Photo

    The new set of rules, under section 76 of the 2008 Act and section 58A of the 2000 Act, will target anyone who ‘elicits or attempts to elicit information about (members of armed forces) … which is of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism’.

    A person found guilty of this offence could be liable to imprisonment for up to 10 years, and to a fine.

  • Jake

    Yes, thank god the Rodney King beating was videotaped. What an injustice that was. The police have no right to act aggressively when a man with a violent criminal history leads the police on a drunken high-speed chase on the highway and through residential streets, and then attacks the officers when they attempt to arrest him. He really is a martyr of our time.
    And the woman who was “brutalized” in this story clearly deserved it. She ran from the police and then fought them when they caught up to her; and she is actually garnering sympathy. I really don’t understand why people think you should be allowed to do whatever you want without fear of repercussion. Obviously if you run from the cops they are going to have to throw you to the ground when they catch up to you.

  • John

    Jake, are you kidding me? Did you even read Roxanne’s account? Is there any excuse for the extensive injuries and indignities she went through? There seems ample evidence of police illegality/misconduct, and I’m sure she had no problem finding a lawyer to take this case on.

  • zim

    as far as I’m concerned I’ve seen too many police officer situations, know friends who’ve been beaten, who did nothing wrong. A human being has a reasonable need to run for survival and this woman could have been brain-injured from the treatment they gave her and she didn’t even do anything.

    I catch cops doing this to my friends, I’ll make a very quick decision. If I know the person actually did something, I’ll do what I can to ensure their safety but sure, they get to be arrested. Otherwise those cops are TERRORISTS and will be TREATED AS SUCH. LYNCH MOB. So they better know what they’re doing because in Canada this is wrong, illegal and we’ve had enough. ALL OF US. Either they smarten up or start finding out those jackets aren’t so protective after all. Anyone who’s learned enough about shells and chemistry knows this. THE WORLD CAN KNOW IT if that’s what they want – posters EVERYWHERE. They have decisions to make: we pay for their weapons, their salaries, benefits, sick days off, pensions – we have a right to demand to be treated as human beings.

  • 1) That does not look like Lisa the artist who used to draw near Hartmans.

    2) You can get police complaint forms and copies of the Safe Streets Act at Exile Infoshop just up the street at corner of Cooper and Bank. Also lots of other literature on police, prisons, and the police state (some in the library and some for sale).

    3) Good on ya reporting what you saw and keeping the photos. Will we see the rest of them, if any, published?

  • Police seizures of cameras prompts BC complaint Globe and Mail – VANCOUVER – The BC Civil Liberties Association wants Vancouver police reminded that they can’t just seize photos and videos from witnesses. The association said there have been three incidents where police have tried to seize cameras and video cameras — all three in cases of police-involved shootings. In a complaint to board chairman Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, association executive director David Eby outlined his concerns that police officers are interfering with the rights of those taking pictures or video.“What’s particularly troubling to us is that the three high-profile allegations … all involve police using lethal force against citizens,” he said.The most recent of the complaints involves a newspaper photographer whose arm was twisted behind his back by an officer when he refused to give up his camera outside a police shooting on Sunday.Last month, a man who claimed he recorded the police shooting of a homeless man on his cellphone said an officer asked for his phone and when it was returned the video had been erased.

  • […] of is getting to be quite famous around these parts. Her post from earlier this year on The Bank Street Bully sparked a police investigation and coverage by the press. That’s the kind of person Zoom is […]

  • […] And so ends another chapter in the life of the Bank Street Bully. […]

  • […] big spike there in December was from the Bank Street Bully post, which was my most-read post ever, thanks to everybody who shared the link all over the […]

  • Focus

    Over the years, I’ve casually spoken with many (from walks of life across the board) about police, and I’ve yet to find anyone who has sincerely said that they have a reasonable level of confidence in them, or like them or the idea of them, or that this world would be less safe without them– things to those effects.
    It is quite the consensus to get about any profession, never mind one that’s supposed to count for safety, peace and protection, etc..

    I think police officers (and their teachers, colleagues, etc..) would do well to keep the above in mind and to understand that they’re essentially ‘we’– working for ourselves in a particular designated capacity to make a better life. It is not ‘us versus them’.

    In a society increasingly armed with “smart mob” communications like ever-more inconspicuous e-video devices that netcast in realtime (too late to confiscate), the responsibilities, consequences and dangers for police misbehavior shift ever more acutely back where they belong.

    If a police officer’s job is supposedly hard enough as it is, some of their questionable behaviours may only serve to make it harder still.

  • Interesting read. There is currently quite a lot of information around this subject around and about on the net and some are most defintely better than others. You have caught the detail here just right which makes for a refreshing change – thanks.

  • Thanks for the educational post. I had been looking for something relevant and discovered your website in the process.. I will definitely be back for more.

  • nobody

    If those bastards can put cameras on the side of the road to take pictures of people driving their cars (for automated ticket purposes), then we can take pictures of them breaking the law and being disorderly too.

  • Focus

    I will add that culture with (true) community, such that our western culture seems not to be/have, may not really need police.
    With non-renewable energy reserves approaching peak and local currencies and transitional towns springing up globally, it may only be a matter of time before what we once knew of a police force goes up in smoke along with the oil…

    …When stolen land, dead-soil corporate farms and toxic industries are dismantled and/or taken back by the people for all to enjoy, share and respect– neither rich nor poor.

    When the spirit of our Canadian natives see their days again in the sun.

  • Focus

    There is no authority but your own and “God”.