Judge releases cellblock video of alleged mistreatment by Ottawa police

Steve Rennie

Ottawa— The Canadian Press


A cellblock video has been released that captures the arrest of a woman who claims Ottawa police injured and strip-searched her before leaving her naked in a cell without medical attention.

Roxanne Carr was arrested and charged with assaulting police, obstructing police and damaging property in 2008. Those charges were dropped in April.

She is now suing the police department over their treatment of her during her arrest.

Several media outlets, including The Canadian Press, went to court to have the video released. Last week, an Ontario Court judge agreed to release the footage, but court workers couldn't find the video in the case file. A duplicate copy was released Thursday.

The incident is broken up into 26 video clips showing Ms. Carr's arrest from several different angles.

In the videos, officers drag a handcuffed Ms. Carr, who is wearing a black tank top and dark pants, from a police car through the hallways of the cellblock.

Ms. Carr's arms are cuffed behind her back. She does not appear to resist.

Two officers hold her by the elbows and lead her into a room with a counter. They lower her head-first onto the floor. Her head comes off the floor and falls back onto it as they shift her body.

She is lying face down when the officers remove her handcuffs. Then, they take two objects from her hair or neck and toss them onto a nearby counter. One officer kneels on Ms. Carr's back as the police wrap a strap around her arms. They then hoist her to her feet and walk her to a cell.

The videos do not have any sound.

There is no camera inside Ms. Carr's cell. At one point, a white gown is tossed from one of the cells. Later, an officer leads Ms. Carr, who is now wearing a white gown, from her cell to retrieve her clothes from a bin. She gets changed in another room.

The video shows Ms. Carr, again in the black shirt and pants, standing at a counter signing documents. She leaves the cellblock, stops in a stairwell to put her hair in a ponytail, and leaves the station.

It is not clear from the videos if she is in any pain.

She claims her arm was broken during the arrest and that she was dropped on her head.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

“It's clear from the video that there's not an instance, not a muscle of resistance. And despite that, there's six police officers hog-tying her and then leading her on a leash to the cell, taking her clothes and leaving her naked for at least an hour,” said Lawrence Greenspon, Carr's lawyer.

“It's a very disturbing video. I shudder to think if people treat people like this when they know they're on video, how do they treat people when they know they're not?”

In a statement released this week, Ottawa Police Acting Chief Gilles Larochelle noted the Ontario Special Investigations Unit and the Ottawa Police Service's Professional Standards Unit both probed the incident and did not lay charges or find any misconduct.

“I am satisfied that cellblock officers handled the custody of Roxanne Carr with the utmost professionalism, especially when faced with a crisis in the cell,” Mr. Larochelle's statement says.

The Carr case has similarities to another case in which an Ottawa police officer was charged with sexual assault after a woman's much-publicized arrest.

The Special Investigations Unit was called in after video showed a special constable kneeing Stacy Bonds while she was being booked at police headquarters Sept. 6, 2008.

The video also showed male officers holding Ms. Bonds down while another officer cut off her clothes the night she was arrested for a liquor offence.

Ms. Bonds was subsequently charged with assaulting a police officer, but Ontario Court Justice Richard Lajoie stayed proceedings in her case after seeing the video.

Other elements of the Ms. Bonds video, along with several other videos showing different cases of alleged police brutality, are still under investigation by various agencies.




Ontario Court Justice Richard Lajoie is now dead. He knew this was to be one of his last decisions and one way or another the video was going to be made public so he really had no option.

He spent his life at least while a judge abusing the court process and getting rich himself.
When he was in Timmins he attempted to have an inflated valuation put on his home.

Lajoie was the sought after judge by the powerful corrupt establishment in Timmins where his own secretary was married to a cop, just one of many who owned every single instant lottery sale point in Timmins. When one of those businesses sold, it generally went to the wife of another Timmins Police officer.

Lajoie was the sought after judge by the Children's Aid Society, the Crown's office and any lawyer with a solid connection into the corrupt world of Timmins.

Lajoie abused his power on countless occasions.
On one occasion he gave custody of a child to a female court employee he worked with who was the aunt, not the mother of the child. As a result of that order, a father was sent to jail.

On another occasion he had a father arrested on a charge of criminal defamation for calling him corrupt and an insult to justice. Richard Lajoie later refused to testify but only after he caused the father to be held incarcerated for a week in protective custody. Those charges were later stayed by the crown.

Richard Lajoie made orders for his friends, heard cases when he had obvious conflicts when other judges with far lesser conflicts would automatically decline to hear the matters.

Ricard Lajoie was despised by the dam near every member of the judiciary and legal community from one end of Ontario to the other where ever he visited he generally left a trail of injustice and destruction.

In Sault Ste. Marie he found a man guilty of criminal harassment, that conviction was very conveniently made to favour a lawyer by the name of Broadbent who purchased a property from a client who lost in court. Broadbent used the corrupt Sault Ste. Marie police to lay charges to win by criminal means what he lost in civil court. That decision was overturned in the Court of Appeal. You can read all about that R. v . Jim Townsend case at www.permittedperjury.com

In around 2003 he transferred to Ottawa where his name caused criminal lawyers to roll their eyes and start talking about an appeal.

So far, the reasons for his death have been kept a secret, not a word has emerged in the press about how and why he died but he was famous of drinking several bottles of red wine at a sitting and then going to court the next day with his shriveled brain and it may well be that it was his drinking that finally killed him.

Judge Richard Lajoie will be remembered as one of the greatest insults to justice in Ontario Legal History. He very obviously had little concern as to how history would remember him and the disgrace he would bring upon the justice system and the judiciary.