Sunday, 13 July 2014

Remember the Ottawa cop who abused a Black woman?

Sgt Steven Desjourdy has a new job. That's him on the right.

Yes Desjourdy - who should NOT even be allowed within 10 metres of any woman in police custody - now works in the division that investigates human trafficking.

In April this year - yes in 2014 - Desjourdy was "found guilty of discreditable conduct at an internal Ottawa police disciplinary hearing into a widely reported, controversial cellblock strip search in 2008.

In September 2008, Desjourdy left a female prisoner half naked in pants soaked with urine; her shirt and bra had been cut off during a strip search [...]

It took more than three hours for Desjourdy to provide her with temporary clothing called a blue suit."

DAMMIT JANET! has written about Desjourdy or pointed to him in reference to cop violence towards women in police custody.

For example, this: "a judge recently exonerated the sexualized brutality that a police officer used against a woman detained for alleged public intoxication - a "charge" which was never actually shown to be founded.

Violent cops like Steve Desjourdy sexually humiliate, degrade and punish jailed women with impunity. His actions which were challenged in criminal court, have been excused and thus can become the official standard that police taking women into custody can apply.

According to the judge who presided over the trial, Desjourdy "used reasonable force".

Many who viewed the internal video that captured Desjourdy and his colleagues' actions, observed that he seemed to be enjoying his job, exerting force in order to break the detained woman's will and her instinct to defend herself from the cops' deliberate, sexualized violations.

Meanwhile, last week some Harper government MPs staged a series of opportunistic histrionics at the Justice Committee, ostensibly to hear presentations from women who have been trafficked and religious groups hoping to receive a large chunk of money in return for rescuing stigmatized victims they'll rehabilitate and pity, ALL in support of C36.

ADDED: This from Kate Heartfield captures the intent of the CPC dog-and-pony show, as well as the very worst moment when the chortling, snorting, oinking Con MP Goguen tried to score points against a lawyer (who substantiated his opposition to C36 with evidence) by badgering a multiple-rapes survivor.

(DJ! does NOT support C36; it is contempt for women and for the law.  In that blogpost, I reminded Peter MacKay - so greatly disgusted with "perverts" who purchase sexual services - that he might direct some of his outrage towards a certain Con politician, a buddy of Harper who subjected his wife to the very degradation that so incensed the Minister of Justice. Juxtapose this with the passage here, where Rob Ford offered up Renata to anyone interested. Procurement, or trafficking his wife. Is that a Ford family value?)

Back at the Justice Committee hearings, law enforcement witnesses like Chiefs of police supporting C36 were unable to explain why current criminal code sanctions against human trafficking aren't being enforced to stop "procurement" and the enslavement of women into forced sex work through threats, confinement and other brutal methods.  

And the focus of MP Joy Smith's (yes, the MP who hired Vic Toews' mistress) attention at the hearings was riveted upon the horrific, brutal stories told by women who had been trafficked.

Despite numerous fundamentalist religious groups vehemently claiming thousands upon thousands of women are sexually assaulted 10, 20, 30 times daily, very few police investigations, arrests, charges, and prosecutions of human trafficking are being followed through in any rigorous or systematic way.

On the last day of the hearings Christa Big Canoe of the Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto challenged the legal sloppiness of the pro-C36 crowd who used trafficking, and prostituting as synonyms for one and same criminal activity.  

MPs should distinguish between sex work and human trafficking as they consider bringing in a new prostitution law to replace the one struck down last year by the Supreme Court, an expert said Thursday.
After three days of often heart-wrenching testimony, the House justice committee is wrapping up the first phase of its work on the government's proposed prostitution law rewrite.
Many of the witnesses told horrifying tales of being trafficked and abused, while others spoke in favour of letting sex workers choose to sell their services.
Christa Big Canoe, legal advocacy director at Aboriginal Legal Services of Toronto, summarized the divide following 20 hours of hearings.
"[What] we're hearing a lot from a lot of the witnesses is the interconnectedness, but what we're not hearing is the distinct differences between trafficking and sex work," she said.
Big Canoe suggested better enforcing Canada's existing human trafficking laws if MPs are worried about the problem. Studies of human trafficking, she said, talk about how elusive the traffickers are.
"So the question I have to this committee is, how is that going to change by the provisions that you're now proposing, and what can be done to change that if it's not already occurring?"
The committee has heard from police officers that it's difficult to charge alleged human traffickers and that some law enforcement agencies use the threat of charges against prostitutes to extricate them and have them provide evidence against the traffickers.
Big Canoe pointed out that last year's Supreme Court ruling known as Bedford dealt specifically with Canada's prostitution laws.
"Bedford was about sex work. It wasn't about trafficking. We have laws in Canada about trafficking that aren't actually being used well. 
So Sgt Desjourdy, "known to police" for brutalizing women in police custody, is assigned to Human Trafficking at the Ottawa Police Services.

What sadistic person in Human Resources assumed this bully and abuser of women would be an appropriate fit for law enforcement tactics which Prohibitionists and Evangelicals are counting upon to "extricate" women from coerced sex work, arrest them, threaten them until they agree to testify against their traffickers then afterwards dump them somewhere, perhaps in the basement of a church where Harper Conservative business men can exploit them as "regular" low-waged-with-no-benefits workers.  

Oh. Wait.

Grand merci @kwetoday whose tweet tipped me off to Desjourdy's new job.

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