‘Indignity, Pure Humiliation’: Sworn account of an Ottawa prison on Saturday

The events of September 11, 2021 are the focus of a complaint filed with the prison inspector.

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It was Sept. 11, a Saturday afternoon, when the drone came over the walls of Ottawa Prison in a suspected doping drop into the yard below.


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If some inmates seemed agitated over the sudden drop of dope from the sky, it was a fleeting moment cut off by the reported reaction of guards, who are now accused of exposing their charges of physical abuse and humiliation under arms.

“It was an indignity and pure humiliation,” said top defense attorney Diane Magas.

One of her clients was in the yard that afternoon.

Mike Banks is not your regular prisoner in the infamous prison. He is a renowned American lacrosse player who has become an assistant professor at the University of Albany-State University of New York.

His detailed account of what happened in the prison yard is revealed in a letter on October 22, prepared by his lawyer, Magas, and sent to Christian Richer, superintendent of the old Innes Road prison.


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Banks also filed a sworn statement about his horrific account.

Banks first noted that he had nothing to do with the drone fall, and then described the guards’ alleged abuse.

There was a suspicion of a drone fall, so the guards dressed in SWAT-type “uniforms” with weapons pulled from the roof. They threw two lightning grenades into the yard, according to the complaint filed with the warden.

The inmates in the yard were told to lie down on the ground and were instructed, “If you move, we will take it as a threat,” Banks recalled.

What happened next, according to Magas, was permeated with indignation and humiliation.

‘The inmates were told to strip and each inmate was searched. The inmates were required to kneel on all fours on the ground and walk backwards on their hands and knees on the sidewalk while wearing only boxer shorts, “according to the letter of complaint sent to the warden.


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The detainees were then, according to the complaint, asked to lie face down with their hands over their heads only to be dragged by their ankles back to the jail after seven hours.

According to court records, Banks was subjected to a search, and guards inspected his anus twice. The guards also allegedly had to deprive Banks’ cell of all bedding and canteen items and did not let him out of his cell for three days.

In his account, Banks said the experience left him shaken and despairing.

He said he asked the prison guards for security video from that day, but was told there was none.

Magas does not buy it.

“I can not believe that there would be no video recording of this incident that took place in the yard of a provincial prison center,” Magas wrote. The lawyer also demanded that all security video be preserved.


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In the complaint, Magas asked for a status update on the prison’s internal investigation, asked if the Ottawa police had been called in to investigate, and asked if the attorney general’s office had been alerted.

Magas, who was called up Tuesday, said she had not yet heard back from the prison inspector.

Asked if the abuse report was being investigated, a spokesman for the State Attorney’s Office said it was “not appropriate for the ministry to deal with an individual case in public.”

Police in Ottawa received a call from the jail around 5:05 p.m. on September 11th.

The call to police was logged as “Assist other agency,” and Ottawa officers secured the outside perimeter of the jail while the guards handled everything inside. Police will neither confirm nor deny if they investigate Banks’ allegations.

Banks is in jail awaiting a court hearing after being arrested at the border. As a U.S. citizen, he said he drove to see a friend on a reservation in upstate New York, but took a wrong turn and ended up at the border.

He said he was not allowed to return to the United States and was shown a prison cell accused of arms smuggling. A shotgun on the back of his Jeep was legally registered in his name.



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