COURT SUPPORT NEEDED FOR CLAUDE TOMORROW

9:30am, Elgin Street Court House

Ottawa

Closing arguments in Claude’s CANSEC trial take place tomorrow, Friday November 12th at 9:30am. We don’t know the courtroom number yet, so please ask at the information desk where Claude Haridge’s hearing is taking place. His trial may wrap up tomorrow.

Claude has requested court support, so please attend if you are able.

Anti-war protester testifies Ottawa officer who injured him called him ‘my bitch now’

BY ANDREW SEYMOUR, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN NOVEMBER 1, 2010

OTTAWA — An anti-war protester who is seeking to have charges that he assaulted a police officer in 2009 stayed testified Monday that he was in “excruciating pain” after an Ottawa police special constable forcefully kneed him in the leg while he stood handcuffed in a cell.

Claude Frederic Haridge, one of three men arrested in June after the unrelated firebombing of a Royal Bank branch in the Glebe, alleged the assault occurred just moments after the same “powerfully built” and “intimidating” officer called him his “bitch.”

“He told me to never look at him in the eyes,” said Haridge, who testified he was left frightened by the “sexual overtones” of the verbal abuse. “He said, ‘You’re my bitch now and don’t ever forget it.’”

The 50-year-old engineer, who had been arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer at the CANSEC military and security trade show at Lansdowne Park on May 27, 2009, said he was passive and in no position to resist the officer when he was struck.

Haridge said he was kneed after a desk sergeant who knew he was accused of assaulting a police officer told him “someone special” would deal with him.

“I just thought this isn’t how the justice system is supposed to work. I was punished by the police,” said Haridge, who alleges the police violated his Charter rights to life, liberty and security and not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.

Haridge had been arrested after throwing a paint balloon at the windshield of a bus while protesting. He is accused of punching one of the officers in the chin with a closed fist during his arrest.

He is also charged with unlawful assembly and mischief for damage he allegedly caused to three police jackets from the splattering paint. He pleaded not guilty to the charges Monday.

Haridge said immediately after kneeing him, the special constable, identified as Glenmore Clarke, again called him a bitch and said he’d be coming back.

Haridge said the officer did return — first to search him without incident and then to bring him a sandwich and a drink, which Haridge said he thanked him for.

Haridge pointed out video surveillance that showed him limping, which he said were the result of the attack in the cells and not from being tackled by police while trying to flee after tossing the balloon.

The assault occurred over 24 seconds in a cell where there are no cameras, Haridge alleged.

But assistant Crown attorney Derek Ishak also played video of Haridge quickly going up the stairs, some two at a time, as he left the police station. Despite the injury, Haridge testified he walked in the rain from Elgin Street to his truck, which was parked on Bank Street near Lansdowne Park.

The next day Haridge said he first visited his lawyer, and then a doctor, who had him do some squats and take an Advil. Haridge said a large bruise had formed by the time he visisted a second doctor a few days later. He also visited a pychologist, who diagnosed him with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The “brutality of being attacked without warning or provocation” still haunts him, said Haridge, who described becoming depressed and withdrawn since the incident.

A police complaint about the alleged assault was dismissed for lack of evidence, Haridge said.

The hearing continues Tuesday.

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