TORONTO, Ontario, July 25, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A Toronto police officer accused of seizing a camera and deleting footage of him dragging an arrested pro-life advocate has claimed he was worried the camera was a weapon, and that he deleted the footage “accidentally.”
Alissa Golob of Campaign Life Coalition had filmed the arrest of pro-life witness Mary Wagner at the Bloor West Village Women’s Clinic on December 23, 2010, after Wagner entered the facility to encourage women to keep their babies.
Golob had tried to convince the officers not to become complicit in abortion by carrying out the arrest, but she says one of them became angry, refused to identify himself, and afterwards temporarily seized her camera.
She filed a complaint with the Toronto Police Services on February 4th, and they informed her in a June 29th report that they had determined that Police Constable Yevgen Kravchenko committed “misconduct” under the Police Services Act, but not “discreditable conduct” because his actions were “less serious in nature.” She has as yet received no apology.
The report, obtained by LifeSiteNews, says Kravchenko told the investigators that “he took the camera and examined it to ensure that it was a camera and not a weapon disguised as a camera.”
“While viewing the video he pressed some buttons and accidentally deleted the footage without any intention to do so,” the report adds, noting that he “was not familiar with that model.”
The report says further that Police Constable Kastriot Salihu claimed Wagner was blocking the entrance to the abortion facility and preventing women from seeking abortions. He also said she was yelling at abortion clients, saying, “You still have time, God still loves you.”
These descriptions of Wagner’s behavior are “blatant lies,” said Golob. She said the “lies” about Wagner concern her far more than Kravchenko’s far-fetched claims about accidentally deleting her footage.
Golob pointed out that the police officer would have had to go inside a specific folder, click delete, and then confirm the delete to remove the photos. She also noted nothing else was “accidentally” deleted, only the footage and shots of the arrest.
The videos were not incriminating but simply would have made the police look bad as they depicted the “big, burly” officers dragging the petite and peaceful pro-life witness along the road towards the police car, said Golob.
“I hold a great regard for the Toronto Police Service, so the blatant lies exuding from the testimonies given by the two policemen at the scene of the crime is very disheartening and only adds to the growing dissatisfaction of Torontonians by these so-called ‘law enforcers’,” said Golob. “This is not the first time injustice has been done to a law-abiding citizen because of their pro-life stance and it probably won’t be the last.”
“Mary went into the waiting room of an abortion mill the day before Christimas Eve, to speak to the mothers in distress and give them hope, convincing them not to kill their children,” she continued. “The policemen who arrested her have committed a serious crime, not because they lied about their dealings with me, but because they were complicit in the deaths of many unborn children that day.”
Toronto Police Services
40 College Street
Toronto, ON M5G 2J3
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