Some disturbing news has emerged out of Ontario this week. And no surprise here it once again involves the Ontario Provincial Police. When I heard about this story I had one of those WTF moments that we all have.
Allegedly the OPP left Laurie Massicotte tied up naked and bound after responding to a 911 call that she had been raped. When they got to her home they found her tied up and bound, but instead of releasing her the OPP left here there. “I was left for five hours, still in my harness, still tied up, naked, lying under a comforter, five hours, no medical attention. I was in total shock. I didn’t know what the heck was going on.” Massicotte told the Ottawa Citizen. It would turn out that her rapist was Col Russell Williams, who once commanded the Trenton Canadian Force base and acted as a military pilot for VIPs including: Queen Elizabeth 2 and the Prime Minister, is now serving 2 life sentences for the first degree murder of Jessica Lloyd, 27, and Cpl. Marie-France Comeau, 37. As well as two 10 year sentences for sexual assault, two 10 year sentences for forcible confinement and finally 82 one year sentences for burglary offences all at Kingston Penitentiary. Williams confessed to breaking into Massicotte’s house and raping her during his confession Williams said: “She was scared, she was worried she was going to be seriously hurt”. He blindfolded her, cut her clothes from her body with a knife and took pictures. According to court documents the entire ordeal lasted at least 3 1/2 hours. If this wasn’t bad enough when she was finally able to call 911 and the OPP arrived instead of freeing her they left her tied up telling her that they could not release her until a photographer arrived to take crime scene photos.
Ontario Police are no stranger to questionable behaviour. In November, 2010 Judge Richard Lajoie ruled that Stacy Bond detainment and strip-search was a ‘clear violation’ of her rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. All charges were also dropped against Bonds. You can find the disturbing video here in which she is kneed by Constable Melanie Morris, pinned to the ground by Sargent Steve Desjourdy who then gets a pair of scissors and cuts off her shirt and bra. She was then taken to a cell where she was left topless for hours. Bonds is now suing the OPP.
Another disturbing example is the Roxanne Carr case. Carr was originally arrested and charged with obstructing police and damaging property in 2008 but those charged were dropped in April 2011 after the tape was released.
In the video that was released (after media fought for it’s public release but was initially missing) Carr can be seen being dragged down a hallway by 6 police officers who force Carr to lay down. Carr is then dragged to her cell and left there. A second later however, 4 police officers rush into her cell and is seen coming out with her clothing. Her clothing is not returned to her for 1 hour. Carr is suing the OPP for mistreatment. She claims that officers broke her arm and wrist that night and left her laying naked in her cell.
Police brutality, mistreatment of rape victims? Is it any wonder that women don’t like to deal with law enforcement let alone report sexual assault and other crimes?
When are we going to stand up as Canadians and inform police officers (since they apparently have not figured it out yet) that they are in fact not above the law, they can’t do whatever they please because they have a badge, they should be held to a higher standard, and abuse of power can not and will not be tolerated. In the two cases above these officers should be thrown out of the force, particularly if the allegations against officer Morris are true that she has in fact been involved in incidents like this in the past. There needs to be a zero tolerance policy for police abuse.
As for leaving a rape victim bound in her offenders make shift contraption for over 5 hours I again say WTF? I understand that Police have a job to do and they want to make sure that they catch the offender but this never should have happened. You don’t put catching an offender a head of someone’s well being, safety, and mental state. If this is an official policy of the OPP it needs a sever overhaul.