Sunday, November 26, 2006

Yet another isolated incident

Another isolated incident.

LeBlanc maintained he did nothing different from any other journalist covering the event, but was singled out by Sgt. John Parks, the arresting officer.

Parks testified that he arrested LeBlanc partly because he was "scruffy" looking and carrying an unprofessional-looking digital camera. Parks also testified that LeBlanc challenged police authority at the event, and resisted arrest.

However, CBC videotape of the event, entered as evidence by the defence, contradicted police testimony that LeBlanc refused a police order to leave the conference centre and resisted arrest.

McCarroll said the pictures proved beyond a reasonable doubt that LeBlanc did nothing wrong.

"There is such a discrepancy between the evidence of Sgt. Parks and the CBC video, that I find it unsafe to convict Mr. LeBlanc," he wrote. "I am not even satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that if Mr. LeBlanc was in fact ordered to leave by Sgt. Parks, he heard or understood the order."

McCarroll also said the officers had no right to seize LeBlanc's digital camera or delete his photo without a search warrant.
Will any police officer be charged? No. Forget about the assault and the unlawful arrest. Forget that he clearly perjured himself at the trial. The judge praised the police action in stopping the remainder of the mob:
"In spite of my findings in this case, there is one conclusion I have come to beyond any doubt. These courageous officers acted above and beyond the call of duty in preventing a serious breach of peace. If these young masked invaders had succeeded in gaining access to the main meeting room where probably hundreds of delegates were in attendance, God knows what would have happened," he wrote.
I'm a rule of law guy. Getting together in a mob is not a licence to use force like so many anti-globalization protestors tend to do. However, some judges just love cops and will accept their false testimony unless faced with a videotape or a couple of independent eye-witnesses to the contrary. The fact that the cops did their job with respect to the mob does not absolve the cops of their actions against Leblanc and their complete disregard for the administration of justice or the oath they swore before testifying.

I'm not anti-cop. It is the exercise of power because they can attitude and actions of certain cops that not only drives me nuts, it causes me fear. The ramifications for Mr. LeBlanc was a criminal record which has more ramifications for employment, travel or the next time you are accused. Get hauled in for speeding and you have a resisting arrest record when they run your licence and see how it works out for you.

The police act with impunity because they know they will not get charged. Other recent isolated incidents:

volokh
instapundit
Little Tobacco

1 Comment:

Al said...

Maybe the praise has something to do with "the greater good" principle of progressives.
Shouldn't arresting someone because they "look scruffy" or have a digital camera fall into the catagory of profiling??? Clearly this is a slam against poor people. hahaha.