Protesters demand suspended cop be fired

Posted By: Kevin Gallagher · 10/13/2012 1:01:00 AM

About 100 people took to the streets of Montreal Friday night to protest Constable Stephanie Trudeau.

Trudeau was suspended recently for an abusive arrest caught on video in October. She became known locally as "officer no. 728" from a viral You Tube video last may showing her liberally pepper staying student protesters.

"I think she should be fired immediately," said protester Joel Vidal. "And any other officer acting in such a manner should be fired immediately as well."

The protest started at Emilie-Gamelin Park but quickly moved towards downtown. The protest was delcared illegal becasue no route was given to police and some protesters discharged fireworks into the air.

Protesters stopped in front of Montreal Police headquarters twice to chant for "officer 728" to be in a jail cell, but there were no violent clashes between police and protesters.

Many Protesters chanted for a public inquiry not only into Trudeau conduct but in the Montreal Police Department as well.  

However, one of the people arrested and abused by Trudeau is asking for compassion.

"Her life is troubled right now," said Simon Page outside of a police station where he had just taken a mugshot and given his finger prints.

"Probably much more than our lives. I feel very bad for her."

Page along with his friends Rudi Ochietti and Serge Lavoie were arrested by Trudeau on October 2.

The incident has provoked a torrent of outrage against Trudeau.

Media reports have scrutinized her past, with one even quoting an old elementary-school classmate unflatteringly describing her behaviour and vocabulary as a child.

There have been online death threats against the officer and her home address has been published on the Internet.

Trudeau, who has been the subject of complaints in the past, was suspended Thursday pending an internal disciplinary investigation.

Cellphone footage shows a dispute that started with artist Ochietti, drinking a beer in front of an apartment building. Things quickly spiralled out of control into an improbable scene that saw four people arrested and 20 police cars arrive at the site.    

The recordings captured images of Ochietti's arrest and Lavoie, who was dragged down the stairs in a choke-hold.

"I thought that she was killing me at that moment,'' Lavoie said Friday.    

He faces charges of assault, obstruction and intimidation and had his finger prints and mugshot taken Friday night.

Lavoie, a musician, has been consumed by worry over the charges and he hopes they will eventually be dropped for everyone who was arrested.    

"We all have peaceful lives and suddenly you (have to) think about something new,'' said Lavoie, who insists that while he's not angry at Trudeau, he wonders how such an aggressive police officer was permitted to work and carry a gun.

"With this mentality, she's dangerous. But maybe she didn't know that she was dangerous?"

"But someone should have known.''    

Audio captured by a cellphone had a voice, identified as Trudeau's, unleashing expletives and derogatory comments about artists, protesters, musicians and dwellers of a trendy Montreal neighbourhood. Trudeau was overheard describing the people on the scene as "rats,'' among many other things, prompting an apology from police chief Marc Parent.

Police say they weren't aware of the incident until the images and audio were broadcast Wednesday.

Related Stories

Officer 728 'victim' tells CJAD his story

Police chief issues apology for Officer 728's actions

Montreal police badge numbre 728 back in the news


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