Sudbury woman files complaint after interaction with police while protesting Ford
Police say peaceful protests are fine, but officers don’t deserve to be ‘mistreated’
A Sudbury woman has filed a complaint with Sudbury police and the Office of the Independent Police Review Director.
Janet Giroux was participating in a protest during Premier Doug Ford's visit to Sudbury on Wednesday.
Giroux says she's not happy with decisions the government has made since being in power, including cuts to health care and changes to funding for autism programs.
She says the presence of police at two different locations in the city was threatening and intimidating to protesters.
At a site on Kelly Lake Road, Giroux says one officer in particular became aggressive and violated her rights.
"Well, I went around him and as I'm going around him, he grabbed me by the arm which he has no right to do," she said.
"I'm there protesting peacefully and legally. It's my constitutional right and he had no right to touch me and then physically he's blocking me."
Giroux says she swore at the officer.
"The fact that he grabbed me and I felt it and I'm the victim here," she said.
"The poor police officer got sworn at, no he did wrong. I don't care what the Sudbury police say. I don't care. It doesn't matter. He had no right to touch me."
Officer 'mistreatment' not welcome, police say
Greater Sudbury police confirm they received a complaint from a citizen that night, and provided CBC with video documenting the incident.
Spokesperson Kaitlyn Dunn says Uniform Officers, Traffic Officers and members of the Tactical Unit were on duty at two locations.
Dunn says officers were concerned the woman would walk in front of the premier's motorcade as it left a business on Kelly Lake Road.
"The officers exited their cruisers and told the woman she was to remain off the roadway in order to allow the motorcade to exit," she said.
"She became verbally aggressive with the officers, once again calling them names and swearing at them, even after the motorcade had left and the officers were back in their vehicles."
Dunn says police "respect everyone's right to peaceful assembly."
"Our officers do not deserve to be mistreated by individuals who are upset with government officials," she said.
"It is our position that our officers conducted themselves with integrity and professionalism."
With files from Kate Rutherford