The woman met Post in January, 2018, on dating app Bumble. On their second date, he picked her up from work and while driving across a bridge told her that “if she ever cheated on him he would throw her body in the river” and “get away with it because he is a police officer,” according to the facts of Post’s plea.
While the woman dismissed Post’s comments at the time, she said she later realized how volatile and “explosive” his behaviour had been after discussing it with friends. Post said that he would have never followed through with the threat but admitted that he said it to intimidate her, according to the agreed-upon facts.It wouldn’t be the last time.
Just one month later, the woman and Post had an argument during which he grabbed her by the neck tightly and slapped her face. The woman originally described the slap as a “light tap,” and went to slap him back. Post, who was an active police officer, said that if she did, it would be considered assaulting a police officer. When she texted him later saying it was unacceptable to put his hands on her, he told her she was being too sensitive.
Time and time again, she made excuses for his behaviour, largely because of the trauma she believed he endured as a police officer.
On a Sunday evening in February 2018, while getting ready for his patrol shift, Post deployed his Taser just inches from her face. Despite how uncomfortable it made her, they continued dating.
“During this period of time (Post) was controlling of (the woman) … and would get angry when she did things that did not involve him, including going out with her friends,” according to the facts of the plea.
The woman says Post had threatened to harm her if she told anyone what was going on. That night at the police station, she said an inspector dismissed her concerns, later telling her that it was unlikely that Post would be suspended and that police officers are human. “They make mistakes, too,” she remembers him saying. She felt re-victimized and brushed off.
She would, all told, be asked to give five different interviews to police investigators over the next several months.
In June 2018, she was told that due to a “lack of evidence,” her criminal case would be closed and the matter was instead being sent to police discipline investigators. Post was suspended with pay the very next day — June 13 — but the woman was never informed.
She took the step of writing a letter to former chief Charles Bordeleau, writing that throughout the whole process, she “lived in constant fear and anxiety,” and “seeing police officers around the city of Ottawa would trigger panic attacks.
“Based on the evidence provided, I ask for you to consider the reopening of my case. I am asking you to take disciplinary action against Const. Post and to address his criminal behaviour,” she wrote.
The disciplinary investigation eventually made its way back to criminal investigators.
“Why did I have to give five different statements?” the woman said. “Why did it get to go on from 2013 (when the first complainant came forward) to now?”
In September 2018, Post was formally charged with 32 crimes by the sexual assault and child abuse unit.
In October 2018, the woman filed a complaint with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director — a civilian police complaint watchdog. Her complaint made clear that she was “filing a complaint against the Ottawa Police Service (and) how the Ottawa Police Service treated me as a victim of domestic abuse.”
A counsellor at the Ottawa Victim Crisis Unit told her that as a victim of domestic abuse who complained to police, she should have been put in contact with the unit to make a safety plan, received a police report number and been given a risk assessment. None of that was done.
In a statement to this newspaper, the Ottawa Police Service said, “When a victim reports a domestic violence incident to the police, policy dictates that the police officer is to refer him/her to the Victim Crisis Unit.”
The service said, “The officer should assess each case individually and provide general safety planning and offer any other supports deemed appropriate.” That could include discussing peace bonds or restraining orders, or things like changing locks to keep complainants safe.
“All domestic violence coded reports are automatically sent to the Victim Crisis Unit for review.”
Police did not respond to the specifics of the woman’s complaint.
According to the police watchdog’s website, the status of that complaint remains as: “Complaint sent to police service.” That was effective Nov. 26, 2018, more than two years ago. The woman has been told that police misconduct investigators can’t investigate until Post’s criminal matter is completed.
At the end of 2020, the woman was informed by prosecutors that there would be a guilty plea in the case, but it wasn’t until Jan. 14, when she was listening in on the virtual hearing that she realized Post was admitting to just five of 32 charges.
Ottawa police said that because the Citizen’s “questions relate to an ongoing criminal court matter,” it’s their “intention to provide … an answer when the process is complete.”
“The Ottawa Police Service takes the issues relating to violence against women, workplace harassment and gender equity very seriously,” police said in a statement. “We are working with our members and our community partners to make needed changes and improvements to our ability to both prevent such issues from occurring as well as to be more effective in responding when such issues arise. This includes better supports to victims.”
Post is scheduled to be sentenced on April 1 for four counts of assault and one count of uttering threats. The woman has been asked to write a victim impact statement to be read at sentencing, which seems pointless to her when the man will not go to jail.
This content was originally published here.