Traffic cop cleared in handcuffing woman

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Martha Scott, 62, with husband Brian Murphy, says she was only looking for an acknowledgment that what happened to her on Dec. 4 was wrong and that Ottawa police would see the need to better train their officers in dealing with the public they are supposed to protect.

JULIE OLIVER / Ottawa Citizen

Martha Scott says she was not looking for revenge when she filed a complaint last winter after being arrested and handcuffed for failing to follow the instructions of an Ottawa police constable directing traffic at a Rideau Street intersection.

Scott, 62, says she was only looking for an acknowledgment that what happened to her on Dec. 4 was wrong. She was also hoping that Ottawa police would see the need to better train their officers in dealing with the public they are supposed to protect.

Scott maintains the constable was rude and intimidating and did not have grounds to arrest her over her attempts to be allowed to drive straight on Charlotte Street rather than turn right on Rideau. There were traffic arrows on signs and the pavement indicating she could, and she had driven that same route frequently during Rideau’s reconstruction.

And having her hands cuffed behind her back was not the kind of “reasonable force” she expects police to exercise on citizens when they are simply trying to get an answer as to why they have to do this and can’t do that. The whole incident, she says, was the result of an “overreaction” by an officer who probably was having a bad day.

The Office of the Independent Police Review Director doesn’t seem to think so. It dismissed Scott’s complaint against the officer, saying it was “unsubstantiated.” It determined there was “insufficient evidence to establish on reasonable grounds that misconduct, as defined by the Police Services Act, occurred in the complaint.” Investigators tried to determine if the officer’s actions could, under the act, be deemed “discreditable conduct” or “unlawful or unnecessary exercise of authority.”

The report from the police review director doesn’t suggest that Scott, her passenger and husband, Brian Murphy, or witness Tessa Marquis, who was standing at the corner of Rideau and Charlotte, exaggerated what they said occurred. Nor does it say that the version of events from the officer and her partner was more believable. The report details what Scott, the officer and witnesses told investigators and then summarizes their accounts.

In determining whether discreditable conduct took place, the report says the officer “admitted she did elevate her voice when speaking to (Scott as she) was refusing to follow her direction. She also stated that traffic was being impeded as (Scott) was blocking the intersection.” The report also says the constable told Scott why she needed to turn right but “she still refused to do so. All parties involved state no profanity was used. (The officer) was adamant that she acted professionally throughout the interaction.”

In regards to whether the officer committed unlawful arrest, the report says (Scott) “admitted she failed to comply with (the officer’s) direction because she wanted an explanation” of why she had to do so. Both Scott and the officer told investigators that Scott was told three times to turn right onto Rideau but refused.

“(The officer) arrested the complainant for obstruct police and utilized discretion and released the complainant with a warning.”

Scott and Murphy admit they are not surprised by the decision. Scott says she was told by lawyers to expect as much. She says that at no time did she want the officer fired or suspended. But her husband says the decision by the Office of the Independent Police Review Director to clear the officer is “a missed opportunity” to work on the force’s image. “Nobody protects the public peace by screaming at people.”

Ottawa police Insp. Chris Rhéaume says that although the officer was cleared, the issue would still have been addressed with her, likely through her union, the Ottawa Police Association.

Scott’s brief arrest — she was issued a warning for disobeying police directing traffic — is similar to that of 69-year-old Janis King, who ran into trouble with a police officer directing traffic on Montreal Road last month. She, too, was arrested and placed in handcuffs, though she dropped an “F-bomb” at one point and refused to get back into her car as the officer was writing her a $110 ticket for disobeying police directing traffic. She is going to court on July 24 to fight the ticket. She, too, has filed a complaint against Ottawa police.

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Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre

How dare she suggest the Ottawa Police require "training".

The Ottawa Police use "contract instructors" who only get to instruct if the meet the Political and Ideological ideas that are promoted and maintained by "The Old School".

Fact is most cops in Ottawa don't last Five Years.

Fact is Ottawa Police is Canada's most corrupt in that they promote Violence by women towards men.

Fact is Ottawa Police employ the utter scumbags of society like
Fabricates Evidence to NOT charge FEMALE perpetrators of attempted murder.

Fact is Ottawa Police are all Highly Trained at how to "manipulate reports",
Add Adjectives,
Fail to provide Disclosure,
Wrongfully Charge innocent victims.

Incarcerate without charges those who they don't like , specifically Male Victims of Domestic Violence.

Fact is Ottawa Police get their instructions from
"The Ottawa Gestapo" - The Ottawa Branch of Ontario's largest Billion dollar Criminal Organization called "The Children's Aid Society of Ottawa" which is directed by "Supervisors" like
The Godfather of Ottawa

Robert Godman who supervises
professional Fabricators of evidence and child abusers like

Phil Hiltz-Laforge and Claudette Knuckle-Dougan who calls children liars when disclose abuse by mother.

The Ottawa Police and the Children's Aid Society operate with
Fascist Ideals of "Gender Superiority"

Become an Ottawa Cop and join Ottawa's number One Criminal Organization
where Real Crime pays big bucks to the scumbags of society who habitually
commit offenses against the administration of Justice
and turn a blind eye to criminal offenses by their associates in crime
Marguerite Isobel Lewis, aka "The Baby-Snatcher" who happens to be the lawyer for
the Ottawa Gestapo, The Children's Aid Society of Ottawa.