Police do not like it when the table is turned upon them.. “Police routinely call the media together for a show-and-tell display of video or pictures of the latest brazen criminal act, but lately, a similar spotlight has been shining on police and the picture isn’t pretty. Vancouver news photographer Jason Payne summed it up as the “Robert Dziekanski syndrome” after police twisted his arm behind his back and seized his camera as he tried to take shots of a police-involved shooting. Dziekanski, a Polish immigrant who was behaving erratically, died at Vancouver’s airport after RCMP Tasered him several times in October 2007. The death went mostly unnoticed until it exploded onto the national stage after a bystander’s video of the incident showed officers using the weapon on the agitated man armed only with a stapler. A public inquiry which has been further embarrassing to the RCMP is currently underway. Since Dziekanski’s death, New Brunswick police have been chastised by a court for not only arresting a blog photographer, but deleting a picture from his camera. In December 2007, just weeks after the Dziekanski video was released to the public, Vancouver television cameraman Ricky Tong arrived to the scene of a police-involved shooting minutes after the gunfire and started filming. He was held after refusing to give up his video and only released after the station sent a live truck to the site so a copy of the video could be made on the spot. After a fatal police shooting on the street last month, Adam Smolcic, told a Vancouver officer he had taped the incident on his cell phone. He said he gave the officer his phone and when it was returned, the video had been erased. The phone is now with experts in the United States to see if the video can be extracted from the phone’s memory. Vancouver Police Chief Jim Chu has apologized to both Payne and Tong. “My personal feeling is this is the Robert Dziekanski syndrome,” said Payne, a news photographer for more than a decade. “If that person hadn’t of videotaped what happened in Vancouver airport the inquiry probably wouldn’t be going on.” Payne said he was threatened with arrest. “And I really thought they were going to do it.” The Vancouver incidents have prompted a formal complaint from the B.C. Civil Liberties Association to the Vancouver Police Board. Chu has admitted police held on to the photographer’s camera an hour longer than they should have. “The officers were acting in good faith, they were acting in the heat of the moment,” he said. This comes at the same time as the City of Vancouver considers beefing up it’s surveillance during the 2010 Winter Olympics with street cameras and the B.C. government invests $1.8 million to put video systems in police cars. It’s an irony not lost on David Eby, of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association. “It’s almost like the police only want the cameras turned in one direction. That is on the citizens and not on the police,” said Eby. “But the reality of cellphone cameras and surveillance cameras is that they capture everybody equally.” No one, including police, should have the expectation of privacy in a public place, said Simon Fraser University criminologist Neil Boyd. He agreed it appears recent police actions indicate they’re concerned about public perception. “Whether this is true or not is a question – but the images do suggest that they’re more interested in how police are portrayed than using this material in the course of a police investigation,” said Boyd.
The department also sent out a bulletin warning officers they can’t take cameras or video equipment from members of the public or the media. It says officers can only take equipment in the instances where there is an arrest, a warrant, or officers have a reasonable concern that the person might destroy the evidence. Eby said police often use the potential destruction of evidence as an excuse to seize the tape. “The issue is control of the videotape and who gets to see it and more importantly who doesn’t get to see it.” He said he can’t think of a member of the public who would videotape a police-involved death and then erase it. “More likely they would sell it to a media outlet or they would put it up on YouTube. The concern that the police have is that the videotape would be distributed and there would be people criticizing their conduct,” he said. Eby said it was no coincidence that the conflicts between police and media concerned police-involved shootings. “I think the Dziekanski video really drives home the sensitivity that police have around these things.” All four officers involved in the Taser incident told the inquiry into Dziekanski’s death that the man was aggressive and waving a stapler when they arrived on the scene and that the officers had to wrestle him to the airport floor. All the officers later admitted after watching the video during the inquiry that those statements were incorrect. http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/090411/national/police_cameras
Police seizures of cameras prompts BC complaint Globe and Mail - VANCOUVER – The BC Civil Liberties Association wants Vancouver police reminded that they can’t just seize photos and videos from witnesses. The association said there have been three incidents where police have tried to seize cameras and video cameras — all three in cases of police-involved shootings. In a complaint to board chairman Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, association executive director David Eby outlined his concerns that police officers are interfering with the rights of those taking pictures or video.“What’s particularly troubling to us is that the three high-profile allegations … all involve police using lethal force against citizens,” he said.
The most recent of the complaints involves a newspaper photographer whose arm was twisted behind his back by an officer when he refused to give up his camera outside a police shooting on Sunday.Last month, a man who claimed he recorded the police shooting of a homeless man on his cellphone said an officer asked for his phone and when it was returned the video had been erased. The third incident involves a TV cameraman who was held by police for several hours after he refused to give up his videotape after a police shooting at a Vancouver gas station in December 2007.Mr. Eby said police only have the right to take a camera under limited circumstances, including if the person consents or if police have a warrant. Mr. Eby said currently police believe they can seize cameras that might give evidence of a crime, but the courts have dramatically limited the scope of that law. “As a citizen, probably the best thing to do is to refuse to turn the camera over and to identify yourself to the police officer and say you’re preserving the evidence.” Mr. Eby said the association is not only demanding clarity on the issue of when police can take someone’s camera, but also believes police should stop investigating themselves when officers use lethal force.
Vancouver cops under fire for camera seizures Calgary Herald
“ I snapped another picture. The cops noticed this time. One of them strode directly over to me.“You can’t take pictures of this,” he said. His tone was aggressive.
I slid my camera back into its case.
“Okay,” I replied.
“Erase it,” he ordered me.
“I said ‘Erase it’!” he said, “I work undercover and I don’t want my picture anywhere.”
I really didn’t want to erase my picture. Not unless I had to. Besides, if he’s so concerned about keeping his undercover identity secret, he shouldn’t walk around in a police uniform.
“Do I have to?” I asked.
“I told you, I don’t want my picture anywhere.”
“Is it the law?” I asked.
“I asked you nicely,” he said, but he didn’t say it very nicely. It sounded threatening to me.
“Is it the law?” I repeated.
“I asked you nicely,” he said menacingly as he stared down at me, “Are you refusing?”
I looked at him. Maybe if we were in a dark alley with no witnesses, I would have deleted it. But here? In broad daylight, surrounded by witnesses, with a tiny, bleeding, unconscious, handcuffed woman lying on the street? He was probably in enough trouble already.
“Yes,” I said, “I’m refusing.”
“Real nice,” he said in disgust, “Thanks a lot.”
And he turned around and started to walk back to the knot of officers and the unconscious handcuffed woman.
The cop wheeled around.
“You say something?” he demanded of the young man.
“Yeah,” he replied, “I said ‘It’s still Canada.’”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” demanded the cop.
“It means,” said the young man, “that we have rights here. She can take a picture of anything she wants and she doesn’t have to delete it just because you say so.”
“Oh yeah?” demanded the cop, “I told her I work undercover and I don’t want my picture anywhere, but she doesn’t care what happens to me.”
“Maybe she cares about what happens to that person lying unconscious on the sidewalk,” suggested the young man.
“You a lawyer?” demanded the cop, “Cause if you’re not a lawyer then mind your own business.”
Then, inexplicably, the cop said, “You own property? Eh? You own property? Cause I own property. That means I pay police tax. If you don’t own property, you don’t pay police tax!”
Then he wheeled around and stomped back to his cluster of officers and the unconscious woman who was being tended to by the paramedics.“
Vancouver police chief apologizes for press camera seizure CBC.ca - Vancouver police Chief Jim Chu said on Wednesday that officers have been told they don’t have blanket authority to seize cameras from the media or the public.
Let us not forget the role played by the video of Robert Dziekanski getting tasered at the Vancouver Airport. Dziekanski was repeatedly tasered by police after becoming disoriented at the the airport. Testimony from police was directly contradicted by the video evidence shot by Paul Pritchard who was in the airport at the time. If police have the right to examine crime scene evidence then there should be very clear rules about how to handle that footage. As the Dziekanski story demonstrates, there will be times when police have a vested interested in not having that material made public.
• No mention of riot squad attack in initial account
• Video forces watchdog to consider inquiry demand
It began with an anodyne press release from the Metropolitan police more than three hours after Ian Tomlinson died. It ended with a police officer and an investigator from the Independent Police Complaints Commission asking the Guardian to remove a video from its website showing an unprovoked police assault on Mr Tomlinson minutes before his heart attack. In the space of five days through a combination of official guidance, strong suggestion and press releases, those responsible for examining the circumstances surrounding Mr Tomlinson’s death within the City of London police and the IPCC, appeared to be steering the story to what they thought would be its conclusion: that the newspaper vendor suffered an unprovoked heart attack as he made his way home on the night of the G20 protests. Late last Friday, after investigators from the IPCC had spoken to detectives from City police, the commission which claims it is the most powerful civilian oversight body in the world, was preparing to say it did not need to launch an inquiry into the deathduring one of the most controversial recent policing operations.
But the release of the video by the Guardian this week, which revealed Mr Tomlinson was subjected to an unprovoked attack by a Met riot squad officer minutes before he died, has forced the IPCC to step up to the demand that it launch a full independent inquiry. “They have caught a real cold on this,” said a senior source. “They were very slow, they clearly didn’t think anything was wrong and they didn’t look for it. Sometimes they just don’t seem to be very independent.” A former IPCC insider went further, blaming a “cosy” relationship with the police for the commission’s failure to act quickly. “The problem with the IPCC is that it is too late to start inquiries and they go on for too long,” said John Crawley, a commissioner for four years. “They should have picked this up as an independent investigation straight away. There was strong public interest given the concern about the ‘kettling’ tactics being used to police the protests and the need to gain the confidence of those demonstrators with information to come forward to someone who wasn’t the police.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/apr/09/g20-police-assault-ian-tomlinson-g20
7 Apr 2009: The Guardian obtained this footage of Ian Tomlinson at a G20 protest in London, shortly before he died. It shows Tomlinson, who was not part of the demonstration, being assaulted from behind and pushed to the ground by baton-wielding police
Auditor General slams BC failure on homelessness The British Columbia government has so far failed to develop a plan to reduce homelessness, according to a report released by Auditor General John Doyle “We found significant activity and resources being applied to homelessness issues but there is no provincial homelessness plan with clear goals and objectives,” Doyle wrote. “The absence of clear goals and objectives raises questions about whether the right breadth and intensity of strategies are being deployed.” The government does not even have a grasp of the size of the problem, he said. “The lack of good comprehensive information about the nature and extent of homelessness in the province” makes it difficult to plan, he said. The only figures available are from homelessness counts conducted by municipalities and regional districts that likely underestimate the problem, he said. Those counts have been rising. “The continuing increase in the number of homeless counted suggests a lack of success in managing homelessness, let alone reducing it.” There is a good financial case to be made for better addressing homelessness, he said. “The cost of public services to a homeless person is significantly higher than to that same person being provided with appropriate housing and support services.”
Here is what I know for sure in Canada proper policing, management , supervision human rights commissions are a real fact of life, society, in schools, life, in churches, governments, commerce, institutions, civil and public services, professional services too, and elsewhere, even on the net, for you will always have those 30 percent at least of the persons who will try to cheat, lie , steal, bend the rules, falsely believe they are above the laws, Self regulation alone is too often pretentious, farcical, often not applied as well. That applies especially to the professionals, civil and public services, police, municipalities, politicians now as well..
Bad leaders, bads pastors, bad politicans continue to exist cause likely the congregation is bad too. (Jer 5:31 KJV) The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?