Christina Farrell was an officer with the Barrie Police Service when she suffered an assault in the workplace that led to a miscarriage. She claims that she was severely beaten after being directly ordered to enter the cell of a rowdy female inmate – known to police as potentially violent – even though she reminded her superior that she was pregnant. Within a few hours of the beating, she began to suffer severe bleeding and miscarried. She further required emergency surgery.
The event is said to have occurred in 2001.
According to a March 17, 2011 article in the Toronto Star, the senior Farrell is said to have told his daughter that if she was smart, she would “just shut [her] mouth, and pretend like it never happened, or it would affect her career as well as look bad on him.”
Farrell also alleges that while she was still a rookie cop, she suffered a sexual assault at the hands of another police officer, allegedly a friend of her father – Inspector Jim Farrell. She says she did not report the incident because the perpetrator was her father’s friend, and because “no female reports sexual harassment in the police without being labelled a rat and being ridiculed for it.”
Farrell specifically lays accusations that her father created a poisoned work environment and alleges that she eventually left the policy force because of stress, which she attributes partly to her “father’s authority on [her] husband”. Her husband, Nathan Bowman, is also an officer on the Barrie force and directly reports to Farrell’s father.
The Farrells have been estranged for several years. There is no indication of why Ms Farrell waited so long to file her complaint, but Barrie Police Services and her father have declined to discuss the case since it is before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
Posted by Paul Harris