Montreal

Stéfanie Trudeau, known as 'Officer 728,' guilty of assault

Stéfanie Trudeau, known as 'Officer 728' because of her badge number, has been found guilty of assault for using excessive force in a 2012 arrest.

Assault charges stem from arrest caught on video outside Montreal apartment in October 2012

Former Montreal Police officer Stéfanie Trudeau leaves the Montreal courthouse on Thursday, where she was found guilty of assault. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

Stéfanie Trudeau, known as "Officer 728" because of her badge number, has been found guilty of assault for using excessive force during a 2012 arrest.

Trudeau, a former Montreal police constable, faced the charge for her actions while arresting Serge Lavoie for drinking a beer outside his residence on Oct. 2, 2012.

She was suspended from the force shortly afterward. She quit last September.

Stéfanie Trudeau, better known by her badge number 728, was accused of using excessive force during a 2012 arrest. (Annik MH de Carufel)
In his ruling, Quebec Court Judge Daniel Bédard spent more than two hours going over the night of the arrest. He said Trudeau used excessive force and that she was "brutal."

He added that Trudeau, who first gained notoriety as "Officer 728" after she was caught on video pepper-spraying protesters during student protests in 2012, was clearly not ready to go back to work following her leave.

'I was sure I would die'

In his testimony during the trial last October, Lavoie denied that he had been drinking and said he did not resist arrest. He said he did not understand why Trudeau was after him.

This image was captured in a cellular phone video entered as evidence in the trial of suspended Montreal police officer Stéfanie Trudeau. Serge Lavoie is the man wearing red glasses. (CBC)
Videos of the incident that the Crown presented as evidence during the trial show Trudeau forcing Lavoie down a set of stairs in a chokehold.

"I was sure I would die. I told her she's going to kill me," he testified.

Later, under cross-examination by the defence, Lavoie admitted to having had a couple of beers earlier in the day.

It was also pointed out that Lavoie can be heard on the video calling Trudeau "grosse niaseuse,"which translates roughly as "fat dummy," during an earlier altercation between the officer and another man outside the apartment.

​In late 2014, the Crown agreed to try Trudeau by summary trial rather than as an indictable offence, which reduces the severity of the charge. 

As a result, Trudeau faces a maximum of six months in jail rather than the maximum sentence of five years for an indictable offence.

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