OPP break First Nations woman's shoulder then charge her

Police brutality is the wanton use of excessive force, usually physical, but potentially in the form of verbal attacks and psychological intimidation, by a police officer. Widespread police brutality exists in many countries, even those that prosecute it. It is one of several forms of police misconduct, which include: false arrest, intimidation, racial profiling, political repression, surveillance abuse, sexual abuse and police corruption.

OPP break First Nations woman's shoulder then charge her

Postby Thomas » Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:13 am

Police break First Nations woman's shoulder, charge her with assault

'They have this in-your face approach to policing,' Mishkeegogamang band councillor says

A woman from Mishkeegogamang First Nation, north of Thunder Bay, Ont., has been found not guilty of assaulting police in an altercation that resulted in her shoulder and ribs being broken.

Bonnie Muckuck was charged with assaulting her partner and then assaulting an Ontario Provincial Police officer during her arrest outside Casual's Convenience Store in Pickle Lake, Ont., on October 16, 2013.

She was found not guilty on both charges, in a decision released last week by Justice Peter Bishop. He also ruled the injuries to Muckuck were caused by police at the time of her arrest.

"There is no other logical explanation for the causation of those injuries," Bishop wrote in his decision.

Officer says he was kicked in the groin

The officers involved in the arrest argued they were not the cause of Muckuck's broken shoulder and ribs. Const. Michael Vezina alleged that he was, in fact, the victim of an assault by Muckuck.

Vezina told the court that Muckuck resisted arrest, and when he was holding her at arm's length in front of the police car, she kicked him in the groin.

In his testimony Vezina said Muckuck screamed and kicked at the roof of the police cruiser once she was inside, actions he said he believed were inconsistent with someone being in pain.

Court documents show when Muckuck arrived at the police station she complained that she was in pain and had been hurt in the course of her arrest. Const. Brent Woolgar told her that she must have hurt herself earlier.

Paramedics were called and Muckuck was taken to hospital in Sioux Lookout, Ont. by ambulance where, according to court documents, doctors found her shoulder was broken, her arm was dislocated and her ribs were fractured.

Judge describes Muckuck as 'frail, bird-like'

"If the arrest happened the way Const. Vezina states, there would not be such serious injuries to her, namely a broken arm and broken ribs," Bishop wrote in his ruling. "Ms. Muckuck appeared as frail, almost bird-like when presenting her evidence in court."

As for Muckuck's screaming in the back of the police cruiser, Bishop said that was "consistent with being in extreme pain, being handcuffed to the rear and having her arm forcibly pushed up to affix handcuffs."


A band councillor for Mishkeegogamang First Nation, located 20 kilometres south of Pickle Lake, Ont. said he welcomes the not guilty decision in the case.

"Sometimes I believe the police are overly aggressive," Tom Wassaykeesic said. "They have this in-your-face approach to policing."

The police have a difficult job, Wasaykeesic noted, but said many First Nations members get wrongly accused of assaulting officers.

'Unneccesary' amount of force

"There are people who do resist [arrest] but in Ms. Muckuck's case, the amount of force was unnecessary for somebody that size," he said, adding that Muckuck is in her late 50s and is both short and slim.

Justice Bishop also found the initial charge that brought Muckuck to the attention of police to be unfounded. Testimony in the case shows it's unclear whether Muckcuck was ever told the reason for her contact with police.

A clerk at a local store had called police when she said she saw Muckuck assaulting her long-time partner, Sanderson Loon, in the store.

Loon has since died of causes unrelated to the incident and "the court cannot find beyond a reasonable doubt that the altercation was anything more than consensual rough-housing," Bishop ruled.

The pair were at a picnic table outside the store "creating no further difficulties", Bishop wrote. "Very little, investigation, if any, was done by Const. Vezina."

No charges against officers

The province's police watchdog conducted an investigation into the conduct of officers in this case. The Special Investigations Unit concluded in July 2014 that no criminal charges are warranted against the officers involved.

Wassaykeesic said Muckuck may pursue a civil suit against police.

He said he admires Muckuck's courage in confronting police for their actions and hopes it inspires other people in the community to do the same.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-b ... -1.3108279

http://myinforms.com/en-ca/a/13790917-o ... h-assault/
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Police treat Aboriginal people as 'less than Canadian'

Postby Thomas » Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:19 am

Francis Thatcher considers private criminal prosecution of OPP officer who injured his client

A Thunder Bay, Ont., lawyer says he wants to take an Ontario Provincial Police officer to court for breaking the shoulder of a First Nations woman during her arrest.

Francis Thatcher is looking into the possibility of filing a private criminal prosecution or a civil suit against the police force and the officers who arrested Bonnie Muckuck in October 2013.

Muckuck was charged with assaulting her partner and then assaulting a police officer during her arrest in Pickle Lake, Ont. The Anishinaabe woman was found not guilty on both charges by a judge who also ruled the injuries to Muckuck were caused by police at the time of her arrest.

"This sort of a situation with an Aboriginal person showing up in front of the court, injured, but being charged themselves with assault police, is unfortunately not uncommon in Northern Ontario, and particularly in Pickle Lake," said Thatcher, who represented Muckuck at the assault trial.

'A foreign military occupying force'

Pickle Lake is located 20 kilometres north of Mishkeegogamang First Nation, Muckuck's home community. Thatcher said he is working with the First Nation leadership to determine how best to hold the police accountable.

Things have recently improved at the detachment in Pickle Lake, but Thatcher said often police "behaved like a foreign military occupying force" in the community.

"And [they] have treated the members of Mishkeegogamang First Nation and other Aboriginal peoples as less than Canadian, and they've been regularly abused," he said.


The province's police watchdog conducted an investigation into the conduct of the officers who arrested Muckuck. The Special Investigations Unit concluded in July 2014 that no criminal charges are warranted against the officers involved.

That decision, as well as the charges against Muckuck are "a terrible injustice that needed to be fought aggressively," Thatcher said.

The provincial police are not commenting on the situation because of the possibility of further judicial proceedings, a spokesperson said.

Thatcher said he plans to have a decision by the fall about whether to pursue the case in criminal or civil court.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-b ... -1.3137773
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First Nations woman pursues private prosecution against OPP

Postby Thomas » Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:08 am

First Nations woman pursues private prosecution against OPP officers who injured her

Bonnie Muckuck stands about five feet and weighs less than a 100 pounds.

But the little First Nations woman from the Pickle Lake community in northern Ontario is standing up against police she alleges assaulted her.

A domestic argument in 2013 led police there to charge her with assaulting the arresting officers.

Those charges were recently dropped.

And now she has instructed her lawyer to pursue a rare course of action – a private prosecution charging the OPP with aggravated assault and perjury.

http://aptn.ca/news/2015/07/29/first-na ... jured-her/
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First Nations woman to sue police for breaking her shoulder

Postby Thomas » Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:03 am

Bonnie Muckuck of Mishkeegogamang, seeking $2M in damages for pain, suffering, humiliation

A woman from Mishkeegogamang First Nation in northwestern Ontario is suing the Ontario Provincial Police for $2 million in damages after her shoulder and ribs were broken during an arrest.

Bonnie Muckuck, 55, was found not guilty earlier this year of assaulting police in a 2013 altercation in Pickle Lake, Ont., in which she was injured. She was also found not guilty of assault on her partner, a complaint that led to her contact with police.

The judge in that case ruled that the injuries to Muckuck, whom he described as "frail and bird-like", were caused by police at the time of her arrest.

A statement of claim was filed by lawyers for Muckuck in Ontario Superior Court in October.

It alleges the arresting officers "perjured themselves in order to incriminate [Muckuck]"; that they failed to conduct a competent investigation and that they did not have reasonable grounds for the arrest during which Muckuck was allegedly assaulted.

The claim was filed in Toronto, but in court documents Muckuck is asking for the case to be heard in Thunder Bay.

The province's police watchdog conducted an investigation into the conduct of officers in this case. The Special Investigations Unit concluded in July 2014 that no criminal charges are warranted against the officers involved.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-b ... -1.3299802
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First Nations woman sues Ontario for injuries caused by poli

Postby Thomas » Thu Jan 07, 2016 2:38 pm

Bonnie Muckuck of Mishkeegogamang First Nation had her shoulder broken in 2013 altercation with OPP

A woman from Mishkeegogamang First Nation is seeking $2 million in damages from Ontario after a 2013 altercation with two Ontario Provincial Police officers in Pickle Lake, Ont., left her with a broken shoulder and ribs.

Bonnie Muckuck, 55, is also suing the provincial police for $2 million. The civil actions were filed separately in Ontario Superior Court, but will proceed together, according to Muckuck's lawyer.

Muckuck was found not guilty last June of assaulting police during the 2013 altercation, in which she was injured. She was also found not guilty of assault on her partner, a complaint that led to her contact with police.

The judge in the assault case ruled that the injuries to Muckuck, whom he described as "frail and bird-like", were caused by police at the time of her arrest.

In addition to the damages, Muckuck is seeking a declaration that her charter rights were infringed upon, according to the statement of claim against Ontario, filed in Superior Court in December.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-b ... -1.3388596

http://nationtalk.ca/story/first-nation ... police-cbc
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