Apparently, our friends up north are not immune to the savagery of police brutality.
In April, 2013, Ms. Farrell was out walking when she heard a woman screaming. The woman was being beaten by three people, who fled when Ms. Farrell ran toward them. She then consoled the victim, who was clearly distraught, Ms. Farrell tells As It Happens guest host Helen Mann.
Then Sgt. Watson showed up. Ms. Farrell said she wanted to give him a description of the woman’s assailants, and tell them which way they had run. When she tried to do so, she says, he put his face into hers and shouted, ‘shut the f–k up.’ “I was actually shocked,” she says. “I asked him, ‘Is that the way you talk to people?'”
After she asked for his name and badge number, things got really ugly. Ms. Farrell says Sgt. Watson kicked her in the side of her knee, breaking her leg and sending her to the ground. He then punched her in the face and climbed on top of her, pressing her face into the concrete, she adds. “I thought I was going to die.”
Then, he and two other officers dragged her, broken leg and all, to a police car, and had to struggle to get her in the car because her leg wouldn’t bend properly, her lawyer, Angela McLeod, adds.
In hospital, she was charged with assaulting and obstructing a police officer.
At the trial, however, the judge would have none of Sgt. Watson’s case. He suffered no injuries, the judge wrote, but Ms. Farrell suffered “catastrophic injuries.” Indeed, Ms. Farrell has been unable to work since the incident, and her leg is permanently maimed.
Although Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit was said to have investigated the case, no disciplinary action has been taken against Sgt. Watson and he remains on the job in Orillia, Ms. McLeod adds.
That may change, however, as news of the beating gets out.
That’s our job.