Ottawa cop takes camera from pro-lifer filming arrest-threat, deletes all files
OTTAWA, March 14, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An Ottawa pro-lifer filming police threatening a peaceful pro-life activist with arrest is not happy after a city constable allegedly demanded that he hand over his camera and then proceeded to delete all his files.
Donald Bruneau was across the street from the Morgentaler Clinic on Bank Street Thursday afternoon. He was filming police who were threatening to arrest pro-life activist Cyril Winter for standing directly in front of the clinic with pro-life signs, one of which displayed the name of abortionist Kathryn Treehuba who works at the clinic.
Bruneau said that he was filming the police activity for about half an hour — from a safe distance — when a constable with the last name Clark exited a police vehicle and made his way across the street to where Bruneau was filming.
“When the constable saw me videotaping, he crossed the street, came over and insisted on having my camera,” said Donald Bruneau to LifeSiteNews.com.
“He came right over to me, and asked for my camera,” he stated. “I said, ‘That's my personal property. I’m not doing anything wrong. By what law can you insist on me handing over my camera?’”
“He could not give me a law and insisted I hand the camera and my identification over to him,” he said. Bruneau said that he handed the camera and ID over since he did not want to be charged with “failing to comply”.
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He saw the constable cross the street and enter the abortion clinic. The constable then returned less then an hour later with Bruneau's camera and driver's license. The constable then allegedly proceeded to tell Bruneau that it was not right for him to be filming police activity.
When Bruneau checked his camera, everything, including his own personal files, had been erased.
“All of my photos and the videos I had taken were erased. I had hundreds of precious photos destroyed by his deletion of my files,” he said.
LifeSiteNews.com contacted the Professional Standards section of Ottawa’s police department and asked if it was proper protocol for a constable to confiscate a camera used to film police activity and destroy the digital property within.
Staff Sergeant Carl Cartright, who heads the Professional Standards department, replied: “You just asked me a question if police officers are allowed to destroy property, so obviously I don’t even have to answer that…Are we allowed to go haphazardly destroying things? No, of course we’re not.”
Bruneau said that he will file a complaint against the constable who destroyed his property.
“I find this to be police bullying,” he said. “He destroyed my personal property. It’s not right.”