Police Ethics Committee rules against Agent 728
It's yet more bad news for Stefanie Trudeau, the former police officer known as Agent 728.
Quebec's Police Ethics Committee has ruled that Trudeau is guilty of five counts of misconduct during the illegal and violent arrest of Julian Menezes in 2012.
Those charges include lacking respect, putting Menezes' health and safety at risk, failing to identify herself, and improperly using a police car.
The Committee dismissed four other citations including that she acted in a racist manner and used racial slurs.
Menezes said he would have preferred she be found guilty on all counts.
"I was happy that she was found guilty of five [misconducts], particularly those related to the violent arrest and the disregard for my safety, but at the same time rather disappointed that those other four were dismissed, particularly as they had to do with racial slurs that happened in the car and the question of this starlight tour that I was taken on. I was taken far from my home and left in unfamiliar territory very far from my home and no means of getting back home," said Menezes.
In May 2012, Menezes was on his way home from a wedding when he encountered Trudeau in the process of giving a citation to a cyclist.
Menezes and his friends watched the encounter, at which point Trudeau accosted him, handcuffed him, threw him to the ground, then put him in the back of a police car.
Speaking before the human rights commission, Menezes testified that Trudeau and her partner called him a "fucking Indian" and threatened to put him in jail, saying he was a "skinny bitch" and would be raped.
Menezes said he was then taken on what's called "a starlight tour," in which he was driven around the city with no seatbelt on with the officers often stopping abruptly. The "tour" took him from the Plateau to close to Cremazie metro, "taking back roads, alleys, not a straight directory, either," he said, "along with stops along the way where I was subject to insults and harassment."
"There was no seat belt put on me and Officer Trudeau sped up and kept slamming on the brakes with the intention being my facing hitting the Plexiglas which it did, so I suffered injuries to my face as well," he said.
He added that what shocked him was that the other officer involved, Constantino Samaras, acted as though the incident was normal.
"There was no shock on his face," said Menezes. "He was less active than Officer Trudeau but participated just as much and that's what really worries me. It seemed like this was usual, it was a police procedure that had happened 100 times before."
In January, the Quebec Human Rights Commission determined Menezes was the victim of racial profiling and awarded him a $40,000 judgment.
The Ethics Committee began its hearings in April, and in July Trudeau denied taking Menezes on a long, bumpy drive, and denied using racial slurs.
However, Trudeau did admit to using excessive forve, reckless driving, and putting Menezes' health and safety at risk.
She did admit telling Menezes he would be raped, but said she did so in an effort to get Menezes to provide identification.
Earlier this year the Ethics Committee found Samaras should have acted to stop Trudeau, but dismissed charges that he failed to respect Menezes' rights.
Fo Niemi of CRARR, the centre for research-action on race relations, said the decisions show the Ethics Committee has work to do.
"This is a little bit disturbing. I think it's one of the flaws of the police ethics system we've noticed in many cases too. It has difficulties understanding racial bias especially implicit racial bias," said Niemi.
"It tends to go for the easier, explicit evidence of racism or racial bias but more implicit, more subtle bias, it misses the mark."
CRARR believes tha lack of ethnic or anglo representaton on the police ethics tribunal may be a reason.
"We have the question of lack of inclusion, lack of representation, and therefore lack of competency in dealng with cases of racial bias," Niemi said.
Last year Trudeau was found guilty of assaulting a man in October 2012 and given a one-year suspended sentence.
Menezes and CRARR plan to pursue the case with the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal.