Wednesday, 1 December 2010

"Good" apple meets "bad" apple.

And the rest is now history.

A judge has released a video that shows an Ottawa police special constable kicking a man in the cells after other officers dragged him by the legs. [...] In the Delay case, [Justice] Nicholas said Delay, a homeless Aboriginal man, was kicked by Melanie Morris like "you wouldn't kick a dog." The judge also said the entire incident "rattles [her] confidence in the system." [...]

[Constable] Martin, who received an award for his role in rescuing two people whose van had plunged into an icy creek in 2008, initially testified he arrested Delay because his inebriation made him a danger. He also testified that Delay
swore and acted aggressively when he was approached by the officers when he was left in his cell and that Delay tried to hit Morris while she tried to close the cell door.

According to a court transcript, the video shows Delay acting calm and compliant. Delay never hits or takes a swing at Morris on tape. In her closing remarks, Nicholas said she found Martin's testimony riddled with inconsistencies from beginning to end. Martin's notes from the arrest didn't include details pointing to Delay's inebriation until the very end, suggesting he tacked them on later, she said.

Martin also changed his testimony about Delay's aggressiveness in the cellblock after being shown the video, saying the officers' use of force was justified by his behaviour on the street and in the squad car and maintaining Delay continued to yell and swear despite appearing calm on tape.

Throughout his testimony, Martin maintained he never saw Morris kick Delay.

To help understand the coercive nature of pressure exerted upon a cop hero like Martin, producing a version that protects or rationalizes a colleague's abusive actions, check out the comments from Balbulican and Peter after this blogpost.

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