Posts Tagged 'Robert Thivierge'

Calgary Police Delete Photos

calgary police
Photo by Robert Thivierge

A photojournalist in Calgary found out the hard way that law enforcement will do whatever it takes to assert their power. Last Sunday, Robert Thivierge came upon a scene where four Calgary Police Service officers were arresting a man. He starting taking photos and was told to stop and delete his photos or – get this – he’d lose his camera for a year. 

What an outrageously asinine rule! Do these security guards live in a special fantasyland where they get to make up their own laws? Or is Canada just totally fine with trampling its citizens’ civil rights?

From Thivierge’s account:

The security guard on the left said the pictures I took didn’t belong to me, and I wasn’t allowed to have any of the images, and they’d have to be deleted.

Then, the other security guy talked to a cop, who said it was ok for me to go, with the images, saying the first security person “misspoke”.

Then, the next cop, said I couldn’t leave with an image that’s potential evidence. So, I would have to delete it, if I didn’t want to lose my camera for a year. When I said it would be illegal to delete evidence, they said it wasn’t evidence if it’s deleted. Make sense?

Thivierge says he is pursuing the matter and the police seem to be looking into it too, according to Metro News Calgary. I do hope he gets some answers. According to Thivierge, Canada does not have an ACLU equivalent or respect civil rights as we do in the US. To be sure, in this country, at worst, these officers (or whatever these guys are) are engaging in lying and stealing; at best, they’re just incompetent because they don’t know what their job parameters are.

Just remember this mantra, and repeat it to yourself if you’re ever in one of these situations: Police (or security personnel) do not have the right to take your property or delete your photos, and don’t be bullied into thinking otherwise.

Read a brief article on the Metro News Calgary site here.

See Robert Thivierge’s Flickr photostream here.



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