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The fact that many Greater Toronto Area residents routinely have smartphones with cameras on them at any given time, has made it easy for people to regularly take pictures and videos of themselves, their friends and their surroundings. It has also led to an increase in the number of encounters with law enforcement that are recorded.
Earlier this fall a man recording one such incident says two police officers did what they could to prevent him from capturing the incident. Among other things they allegedly used their hands a heads to block the camera and questioned why he was recording the incident since those involved were only involved in a conversation. The suspects were ultimately arrested.
Following the arrest the man filming reported the incident to law enforcement.
Residents of Toronto should know they have a right to record these incidents as law enforcement officers don’t have a right to privacy while working. According to a spokesperson for the police, in this particular case the police officers were not actually concerned with their own privacy but rather the identities of the suspects who were minors and the officers should have been upfront about this.
When someone is charged with a crime multiple types of evidence can be relevant to the case. Recordings of interactions between residents and police officers can be valuable to those involved in the encounter if it becomes necessary to defend against charges brought by the Crown. A criminal defence lawyer can help determine how such recordings might be used to secure the best possible outcome.