Montreal protesters call for officer's firing
Published Saturday, October 13, 2012 1:17PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, October 13, 2012 8:36PM EDT
Outrage over a Montreal police officer accused of abusing her authority during an arrest last week spilled onto the streets of the city Friday night.
An estimated 200 protesters marched through downtown Montreal Friday, calling for police to fire Const. Stephanie Trudeau.
Trudeau -- otherwise known as No. 728, for her badge number -- was suspended on Thursday by Montreal Police Chief Marc Parent pending an internal disciplinary investigation into the allegations against her.
That came after evidence surfaced allegedly showing Trudeau becoming violent while trying to ticket a man for carrying an open bottle of beer on Oct. 2.
When the man’s friends tried to intervene, Trudeau apparently unleashed a string of profanity and allegedly held one of the men in an extended choke-hold. Later, an audio recording allegedly captures her railing against students and artists in a conversation with her superior. In the recording, the female speaker refers to the students as “rats.”
Friday night’s protest dwindled to a handful of demonstrators by 11 p.m., when the group stopped in front of Montreal Police headquarters on St-Urbain St. Montreal police mediator Michael Arruda told reporters he was urging the protesters to be patient.
“We believe in the system; the system is there to find out what happened. I'm just telling them, ‘Let’s see what happens in the course of time—give it some time and the truth will come out’,” Arruda said.
No arrests were made during Friday night’s march.
Since the Oct. 2 incident, a number of people have come forward to allege that they too have been subjected to abuse by Trudeau.
McGill University lecturer Julian Menezes told CTV Montreal he once witnessed Trudeau insulting a cyclist on Mont-Royal. When he went over to see what was happening, it was he who was thrown into the back of a squad car.
“I said, ‘We're not interfering, we're just here as witnesses,’" he said. And at that point, she barged me into the ground and handcuffed me.”
Montreal politician Louise Harel is one of the city’s residents calling for Trudeau’s resignation.
“Personally, I think that this agent doesn’t deserve to wear the police uniform,” she said.
Trudeau has also been cited by the police ethics commission on a few occasions.
Others have made similar allegations, though all remain unproven in court.
One criminologist said with 10 years of video evidence surfacing of the police officer, it’s likely that Trudeau will be dismissed.
“That case, with 10 years of such background, she will likely be found guilty in terms of ethics,” said Andre Normandeau. “She will maybe even be found guilty in terms of the criminal code.”
Retired Montreal Det. Doug Hurley says Trudeau’s superiors have questions to answer.
“Police departments have become more educated, more professional, and laws have been drawn up. When a partner sees that their partner is doing something wrong, they are to come forward. They’re required to come forward,” he said.
With a report from CTV Montreal’s Stephane Giroux and Camille Ross
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