Last updated: October 16, 2012 8:21 pm
McMaster student claiming police brutality speaks about experience
HAMILTON (CUP) — Chantal Godin, the McMaster student alleging that Niagara Police assaulted her at a protest on Oct. 7 at Marineland, is continuing to share her story and is considering legal action.
Godin was first removed off the property’s fence after she had been trying to encourage more protesters to enter the park. By jumping the fence she was officially trespassing on the property and consequently she was later fined. A female officer tugged her off the fence. Godin took pictures of bruising on her arm which she alleges were a result of her fall off the fence.
“I began arguing with her as to why she used such excessive force to bring me down and why she was targeting me when I was outside of the park at the time this happened. Why [did] she decide to target me when I was outside of the park at the time this happened,” said Godin.
While she was still being handled by the female officer, a male officer who had previously been speaking with Godin’s partner, then came over to her.
”He walked away from the male and came towards me. He gave me a small push while I was still being dealt with by the female officer … He pushed me a second time which I deflected [as shown] in the video.”
Godin asserts that the male officer made attempts to intimidate her and acted in an unprofessional manner. She also noted that his intervention was unnecessary, given the presence of the female officer.
She was handcuffed and led to the cruiser by the female officer who stated that she believed in the protester’s cause but urged Godin to protest off the property. Godin did not go back onto the property, but continued protesting outside the property.
Godin has stated that she plans to pursue action soley against the male officer.
“He didn’t actually give me his badge number [which he is supposed to when asked]. I want to hold him accountable … the fact that he left my partner and came after me [given] that I’m much smaller [than the other protesters]. It was a bit sexist.
"I feel as though because I’m a woman he felt he could intimidate me or make an example of me to other protesters. I guess I ended up being the scapegoat for that. I felt violated because he has no right to put his hands on me.”
Godin has contacted a civil rights lawyer and is exploring the option of filing a civil suit, specifically aimed at addressing the issue of the alleged assault and illegal arrest. She also plans to lodge an official police complaint.