Justice Lajoie of the Ontario Court of Justice has found “no reasonable explanation” for an extremely violent strip search of a young woman in Ottawa police custody. The judgment in R v Bonds holds that the treatment of Stacy Bonds, a 27-year-old theatrical make-up artist with no criminal record, was “an indignity towards a human being” that “should be denounced.” Arrested in 2008 on a charge of public intoxication, Ms. Bonds received two extremely violent knee hits in the back, had her hair pulled back and was forced to the floor with a plastic riot shield in the police department’s booking room. She was then strip searched in the presence of at least three male officers, had her shirt and bra cut off and was left in a jail cell for a period of three hours and 15 minutes partially clad and having soiled her pants, before receiving what is called a blue suit. The events were captured on police station videotape. The court has stayed the charge against Ms. Bonds given the “unlawful” and “extremely serious breach of [her] rights.” She has indicated to the The Ottawa Citizen that she is now considering a lawsuit against the Ottawa Police Service, which recently launched an internal investigation of its own.
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