Whatever you thought of the raucous tuition protests by students in Montreal last spring, the city's police didn't exactly cover themselves in glory either.
There were news reports of riot-squad officers charging into peaceful demonstrators, beating people as they fled, even arresting people in bars who appeared unconnected to the protests.
The small square of red cloth that became a symbol of support for the students' tuition-freeze demand apparently also made wearers police targets, some said.
One officer who became particularly infamous during the demonstrations was Stéphanie Trudeau, known as "Constable 728" for her badge number.
She was caught on video last May pepper-spraying taunting but otherwise peaceful protesters on a Montreal sidewalk, waving her spray can at anyone within range as if clearing a swarm of flies with Raid. The YouTube post garnered half a million hits.
Trudeau was suspended while Montreal police conducted an internal investigation. But she was soon back on duty and apparently still harbouring a grudge against those red-square types. And in trouble again.
Trudeau's been suspended once more after being captured on video choking out a man in an Oct. 2 incident that started over an open bottle of beer, CBC News reports.
Rudy Orchietti said he had the beer in his hand while holding open a door for a friend who was bringing audio equipment into a building. Trudeau confronted him, he said, and demanded to see his driver's licence and insurance.
When Orchietti asked why, he alleged Trudeau grabbed him by the collar, threw him to the ground, kneed him in the back and asked if he wanted to spend the night in jail, CBC News said.
When his friend Serge Lavoie screamed at Trudeau and a fellow officer to stop, he was grabbed in the building corridor.
"[Trudeau] was on the way to strangle me," Lavoie told CBC Radio-Canada, which showed the phone video of the incident. "The further down we got, the more she was choking me and the more I was convinced she was going to kill me."
The officers confiscated the mobile phones of the four people involved, who were charged with obstruction of justice, assault and intimidation.
But when they got the phones back they discovered one had been accidentally turned on, providing an audio recording of a conversation Trudeau had with a superior after the incident, CBC News said.
"All the rats that were upstairs … these guitar playing [expletive] … all a bunch of red square types, all artists, basically a bunch of assholes, and they all started coming out of the apartment," Trudeau is heard saying on the recording, according to CBC News.
Later, Trudeau suggests on the recording that the four arrested elevated the situation because they recognized her from the YouTube video.
Montreal Police Cmdr. Ian Lafreniere said the four had not filed a complaint with police about their treatment before going public, which was the first police heard of the recordings.
"As soon as we learned [about it] we made the decision to take [Trudeau] off the street," he told CBC News.
"There will be a complete full investigation by internal affairs in this dossier and the investigators will be meeting different witnesses."
In a post Thursday on the Montreal-area Westmount Examiner web site, Toula Foscolos noted Trudeau was sanctioned by the police ethics committee in 2002 for aggressive behaviour and after her star turn on YouTube, she was pulled from protest duty. She called on Trudeau to be fired now.
"Constable 728 is an affront and an embarrassment to all conscientious cops out there, and it's vital that the police department take a strong stance against this type of behaviour," she wrote.