Police fine elderly pro-life activist $200 for peaceful protest: activist files assault charges
OTTAWA, March 20, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A pro-life advocate has filed two assault charges against an Ottawa cop who questioned him Wednesday as he protested outside Morgentaler’s Bank Street abortion facility.
Cyril Winter has been visited by police nearly daily for over a week as he protests peacefully outside the facility. Today the police were there for an hour and a half and gave him two tickets totaling nearly $200.
He told LifeSiteNews that an officer named C. Tucker nudged him slightly and then did it again even after he was accused of assault the first time.
Winter says the officer was facing him head-on and then moved between him and his friend and nudged him in the elbow. “I said, ‘Hey, that’s an assault!” Winter told LifeSiteNews.
“This is the key,” he continued. “[The officer] repeated it the second time after my objection. Exactly the same thing. He moved away from in front of me, facing me, to come beside me and touch me with his elbow, nudge me. Just to provoke me.”
“It couldn’t have been more deliberate because after the first one I told him he was assaulting me and he shouldn’t be doing that, then he came and did it again identically,” Winter added.
Jim Cairney, another pro-life advocate who was present, told LifeSiteNews that he saw the officer coming right up to Winter to the point of touching him.
“He was intimidating [him] by standing right next to him,” said Cairney. “He was not giving him any space.”
But, he noted, “I didn’t actually see him pushing him or shoving him.”
Cst. Marc Soucy, a spokesman for the Ottawa Police, confirmed to LifeSiteNews that they responded to an assault complaint on Bank Street Wednesday afternoon and that the incident is under investigation. He would not comment further.
Winter said Tucker gave him two tickets. The first was for $65 because he failed to leave the sidewalk when directed by police. Winter says the police have been claiming that his protest is in violation of the City of Ottawa’s bylaw on demonstrations, but he notes that the bylaw applies to a “collection of people” rather than an individual.
The second ticket was $125 for causing a disturbance by disorderly conduct. Winter said this arose because after the second alleged assault, he yelled more loudly to accuse the officer. Winter explained: “[The officer] said, ‘Hey, you’re yelling, you’ve caused a disturbance.’ I said, ‘Well you’ve just assaulted me. You’re the one that’s causing the disturbance by assaulting me and I’m going to charge you.’”
After Officer Tucker left, Winter called 911 and reported the alleged assaults. He spoke with LifeSiteNews by phone from Bank Street as the sergeant with whom he filed the complaint filled out paperwork in his car down the street.
Winter has been protesting outside the Morgentaler facility every week from Monday to Friday, and says the police questioned him every day last week and again on Monday, but did not show up Tuesday.
The alleged assault Wednesday came after the police were accused of confiscating a camera from a pro-lifer last week as he filmed them questioning Winter from across the street. Donald Bruneau, a friend of Winter’s, says an officer deleted all of the files off his camera before returning it.
As the first set of officers questioned Winter, LifeSiteNews informed the Sun News Network, which has an office nearby. The network sent down a camera and were able to film Winter speaking to the second set of officers who responded to his 911 call.
“If all of this saves one baby … it’s worth the world,” said Winter. “That’s what we always have to remember. The Holy Spirit is with us, this is God’s work. We know that it’s right and that God is helping us with it.”