A video allegedly showing police brutality in the ByWard Market late Friday night has prompted a review into the incident by the Ottawa police, says police Chief Charles Bordeleau. The shaky video appears to show a man being forced to the ground by three police officers. While being held by officers, the video documents one officer punching the man in the upper body and head area as many as a dozen times. The one-minute video does not show how the altercation began, nor does it show police taking any suspects away.
I heard this report on Radio-Canada. The police chief "invites" witnesses to step forward to share what they observed.
Given what happened to these women who witnessed and reported police violence in their neighbourhood, I'd think that people might feel threatened by the legal bullying tactics that cops exert inside the courtroom in addition to their illicit, intimidating reprisals.
Also, a reminder: What every citizen NEEDS to know about photographing and filming police officers in Canada, from here.
UPDATE: A female witness who was there that night "could not corroborate the police account of what happened at the scene..." She also said: "The cops showed up and made it so much worse". From here.
I predict that cops will intimidate and frighten this witness into changing her recollection of what she observed.
UPDATED AGAIN: Ontario Ombudsman André Marin reprimands the Ottawa Police Service.
The same day Bordeleau initiated the complaint, he also sent an internal email to the force’s rank-and-file reminding them that “the job of a police officer is a difficult one and we all know that enhanced scrutiny is a fact in our role.”
Bordeleau also wrote that officers have the public’s confidence and his confidence and respect for the work they do.
Marin says morale-boosting comments by the chief or even officers identifying Fairbairn and saying he’s a great guy, are innocuous enough, but when officers start giving their personal assessment on the extent of the force used by Fairbairn in the altercation, they influence the investigation and the likelihood that witnesses, civilian or uniformed, who saw evidence to the contrary, will come forward.
“The pursuit of the truth becomes pointless.”
Marin called for officers to use the same rigorous and strict process they use when investigating the public and to not show favouritism and partiality at the outset, just days after the incident.
This is how police forces roll. A reminder of how cops intimidate those who witness their violence, here.