Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair: Video evidence irrelevant when it comes to the police

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair is lashing out at the Special Investigations Unit for saying excessive force was probably used by officers in two cases during G20 protests.

The two cases are among six investigated by the police watchdog, which then decided not to pursue charges because the officers in question could not be identified.

At the centre of Blair’s grievances, a YouTube video the SIU used as corroborating evidence of excessive force against a civilian.

Blair said the video had been “tampered with.” He said the tape had been “forensically examined” over the weekend and that it was edited in a way that offered no explanation for why force was used.

We all know that had this or any other video been used to arrest protesters, it would be, edit or not.

Video creator John Bridge — who said Monday he had yet to be contacted by the SIU or police — said it was spliced from two clips about five seconds apart because he turned off his camera when police began rushing in his direction.

“There’s not selective editing, that’s the only video that exists,” said Bridge, a Toronto-based web developer. “It was turned back off for my own safety and turned back on when I was in the clear.”

Read more here and here.

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