An Ottawa judge has released a video that shows one of the officers involved in the strip search of Stacy Bonds kicking a homeless man who was being dragged to his cell in a separate incident.
The video from July 2009 shows Terry Delay being dragged to his cell by several police officers before Special Const. Melanie Morris appears to kick him twice before he is put in his cell.
Delay, an aboriginal man with a lengthy criminal record, was arrested for public intoxication after police found him with open liquor.
Delay's lawyer, Leo Russomanno, said police alleged Delay had subsequently assaulted Morris.
Charges against Delay of assaulting a police officer were stayed by Ontario Court Justice Dianne Nicholas last year, who said in her comments that Delay had been kicked like "you wouldn't kick a dog."
Morris was also the police officer involved in the 2008 arrest of Stacy Bonds and who could be seen in a video kneeing Bonds twice.
'Further public concerns'
Ottawa police Chief Vern White issued a press release Wednesday afternoon acknowledging the Delay video may "generate further public concerns about how Ottawa police deals with individuals in our custody."
But, White added, "we can't lose sight of the fact that our members respond to thousands of calls for assistance every day, and do so in the kind of competent and highly professional manner that the public expects of us."
White would not comment further because Ontario's Special Investigations Unit is now looking into Delay's case, as it relates to the SIU's ongoing investigation into how police dealt with Bonds.
Bonds, a 27-year-old woman with no criminal history, was strip-searched in September 2008 after being arrested on Rideau Street for public intoxication — a charge stayed by Justice Richard Lajoie of the Ontario Court of Justice in a verbal ruling issued Oct. 27 of this year.
Bonds case under investigation
Lajoie said it would be a "travesty to permit these proceedings to go on" because of the "appalling behaviours" of police officers seen in a videotape presented in court. Lajoie later released the video, which showed police officers kneeing Bonds in the back, holding her down and cutting off her bra and the back of her shirt as others watched.
Bonds's case is now under investigation by the province's Special Investigations Unit, the civilian group that looks into cases involving death, serious injury or sexual assault where police are involved.
Nicholas, the judge in Delay's case, released the evidence Wednesday after requests from the media. The video and her comments were also entered into evidence in Bonds's case.
Russomanno said the video shows no evidence of the alleged assault on Morris and said the cases raise questions about the reliability of police testimony.
Since the release of the Bonds video, at least two other women have come forward claiming similar abuse during arrests.
On Tuesday, the Ottawa sex workers' organization also called for the Ontario Human Rights Commission to investigate what they allege is the routine harassment, intimidation and assault of sex workers by the Ottawa police.