New cellblock abuse case hits Ottawa police

An Ottawa man, who previously used cellblock abuse allegations as defence in an earlier case, is seeking $1.2 million and alleging police abused their powers in Sept. 2010.
Michael Larocque, 31, is suing Ottawa police for $1.2 million alleging cellblock abuse in September 2010. (Supplied photo)

Ottawa police have been hit with another cellblock abuse case from the same man who used the allegations as defence in an earlier lawsuit.

Michael Larocque, 31, claims he was put in a "choke-hold" while in police custody in the early morning of Sept. 12, 2010.

He first made the allegations in May in an attempt to have an assault charge stayed related to an alleged incident with his girlfriend. He later pleaded guilty to the charge.

On Tuesday, Larocque filed a statement of claim in a brand new case against police seeking about $1.2 million in compensation.

Identical to his claims in the spring, Larocque says there is video of one officer grabbing Larocque's left hand and pulling it from behind.

The video was never viewed in the earlier trial.

The claim goes on to say a second officer grabs the man's right hand and pulls it back before deciding to release "the applicant’s right hand and places his hands around his head and neck in a choke-hold."

The application also alleges while Larocque was held in a choke-held, the officer delivered "an upper-cut punch to the applicant's face". Larocque then said he was "dragged to his cell in a full choke-hold."

Larocque's claim says he suffered physical injuries to his face, eye, neck and arms caused by officers.

Pictures filed as evidence in the earlier case show a black eye and bruises, as well as a cut to the man's arm.

None of these allegations have been proven in court.

Larocque's case comes more than a year after Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit charged Sgt. Steven Desjourdy in the cellblock strip search of an Ottawa woman in September 2008.  In May, Desjourdy pleaded not guilty to those charges.

Ontario Provincial Police also investigated six cellblock abuse allegations of Ottawa police but cleared the force in all cases.