Update on Sexual Assault by Guelph Police - Guelph Union of Tenants and Supporters (GUTS)
*** please forward widely, sorry for cross postings***
(Editor's Note: for the initial post on this appalling incident, see http://mostlywater.org/node/4281).
GUTS Update on Sexual Assault by Guelph Police Officer
B. Welsh (Badge #107)
1) Updates from call-in campaign
2) Updates from meeting with police
3) Action Callout
1) We would like to greatly thank everyone for their
concern and for contacting the Guelph police. Since
so many of you have contacted us, GUTS is gonna try to
send out general updates. Nicole's not able to write
back to everyone anymore but she sends along a huge
thank you. GUTS can forward emails to her if you so
While the papers stated that about 50 people contacted
the police, we are sure that the number was much
higher, due to the volume of people contacting GUTS.
At first the Chief of Police Rob Davis dismissed
people's complaints but by the end of the day he
promised an investigation.
We once again want to thank everyone for putting so
much pressure on the police. We believe that the
media and public attention are very important, and
that we must keep this support if officer B. Welsh is
to be fired.
2) On Wednesday, March 15, 2006, Ms. Freeborn,
accompanied by members of GUTS for both support and
security reasons, met with Gary Male and a another
inspector from the Guelph police force. Also present
were support workers from Women In Crisis and her
legal counsel. The interview was almost immediately
suspended so that it could be turned over to the
Special Investigations Unit. The officers that were
witness to the sexual assault have retained a Toronto
lawyer. With support from the legal clinic, Ms.
Freeborn is willing to explore the legal avenue,
although she is understandably sceptical. At the same
time, she understands people's anger and concern's for
womyn's safety and encourages people to continue to
act to get Officer Welsh immediately suspended from
3) GUTS is concerned that, to our knowledge, Officer
Welsh is still active in the police force, despite the
sexual assault that occurred in full view of other
people and cops last week. He must not be allowed to
work with womyn. GUTS is calling on everyone
concerned about Officer B. Welsh's (Badge #107) sexual
assault on Ms. Freeborn to take autonomous direct
actions against the Guelph Police, Guelph City
Council, and the police at large.
We name the Guelph Police due to their committing the
sexual assault. Other officers could have intervened
to help Ms. Freeborn when it occurred, but stood by,
intimidating other witnesses, and are therefore
complicit in the sexual assault. Officers could, but
have not, spoken openly about what they saw. Officer
B. Welsh still has not been fired.
We name the Guelph City Council because they fund the
Guelph police and are ultimately responsible. They
are equally culpable, as without those funds, the
police would not have the power and extensive weaponry
We name the police at large because of the systematic
violence that police in Canada wage on womyn everyday
and night. We know that the problem goes far beyond
Officer B. Welsh.
We would also like for people to continue circulating
the story and trying to get media attention. These
are the things GUTS are asking people to do if they
wish to offer solidarity.