Ex-policewoman known as Agent 728 cited for ethics violations

Ex-policewoman known as Agent 728 cited for ethics violations

MONTREAL — Quebec’s police ethics commission has found a former Montreal officer known as “Agent 728” guilty of five code violations.

The case against Stefanie Trudeau involved a young Montrealer who was subjected in May 2012 to a so-called “Starlight Tour” in which he was driven around town in the back of a cruiser and dropped off far from home.

In a decision issued last Friday, Trudeau was found guilty of five violations, including excessive force and negligently putting the health and safety of Julian Menezes at risk.

Menezes had attempted to defend a cyclist who he said was being intimidated by police, but was arrested and dropped off in another part of the city.

He said he was handcuffed and had his face slammed against the Plexiglas divider in the back of the cruiser a number of times.

The ethics committee did not uphold four of the violations, including one involving an alleged racial slur against Menezes, who is of South Asian descent.

It said the burden of requirement was not met in terms of proof.

“It raises questions as to the process of the police ethics commission — the requirements for preponderant proof,” Menezes said in an interview Tuesday.

“Racial profiling is often implicit, instead of explicit. It was her testimony against mine in a closed car with no witnesses … how is it possible for me to provide a preponderant proof apart from my own testimony in that situation.”

Trudeau, who has since left the police force, became a household name after a number of high-profile arrests put her in the spotlight.

While she won’t learn her punishment until later this year, it’s unlikely to change much, given her policing days are done.

Regardless, Menezes says he hopes for a strong sanction to set a precedent.

“Even if they can’t be enforced upon her, they at least set precedence and jurisprudence for the next cases,” he said.

Earlier this year, the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal awarded Menezes $40,000 for the same incident, but the city is challenging the award.

The Canadian Press

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