Gary Dimmock, Postmedia News
· Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010
OTTAWA - A judge has condemned a handful of Ottawa police officers for a
strip search in which a young woman had her shirt and bra cut off, and
was left half-naked in a jail cell for three hours.
Moments before Stacy Bonds -- a 27-year-old with no criminal record
-- was stripped of her clothes, she was also the victim of "two
extremely violent knee hits in the back ... and has her hair pulled back
and her face shoved forward," Justice Richard Lajoie said in an Oct. 27
oral ruling made after he reviewed the police station videotape that
captured the events of Sept. 26, 2008.
The judge said "there is no reasonable explanation ... to have cut
Ms. Bonds' shirt and bra off, and there is no reason, apart from
vengeance and malice, to have left Ms. Bonds in the cell for a period of
three hours and 15 minutes half-naked and having soiled her pants,
before she received what is called a blue suit.
"That is an indignity toward a human being and should be denounced."
Sgt. Steve Desjourdy cut off the woman's shirt and bra with scissors
after she was forced to the floor with a plastic riot shield in the
police department's booking room.
When Ms. Bonds was brought into the room, Judge Lajoie noted that she
had "no hint of violence and no hint of being aggressive," describing
her as "co-operative."
The judge said he was "appalled" that the strip search took place in
the presence of at least three male police officers.
The incident began when Ms. Bonds was stopped by police in downtown
Ottawa. After running her name and coming up with nothing, they told the
young, black makeup artist to keep walking on home. But after a few
steps, she turned back and asked why Ottawa Police bothered to stop her
in the first place.
That's when things took a rapid turn. They arrested her for public
intoxication -- which Judge Lajoie deemed unlawful because she was not
drunk -- and cuffed her. Once Ms. Bonds was taken to Ottawa Police
headquarters, the judge noted that she was anything but "violent or
The Judge stayed the charge against Ms. Bonds, saying he didn't want
to be part of the "travesty."
Ottawa Police Chief Vern White said Tuesday that his force has
launched an internal investigation into the case.