Hello everyone, My name is Mitchell Powell and I am a Police Foundations student in Orillia, Ontario.
I was recently charged with the offense of "Failure to Surrender License". This is a copy of my formal complaint that I still have not issued. Some information is starred out for the officers privacy.
Complaint against Officer D. ***** (Offence number *****6)
On May **, 2009 Mitchell ***** (myself) noticed a abundance of police officers (OPP --> Highway Saftey Division) doing a
routine aerial speed trap set up on the ******* Av. offramp. At this time I was enrolled and currently academically studying
Police Foundations at the Orillia Campus of Georgian College. I pulled over my car off the road (Aprox.*****am), and I was
taking pictures and waving to the fellow officers doing the speed traps. I was not only doing this out of sheer excitement and
admiration but also because I knew the pictures would be a invaluable asset in later assignments. I personally strive to do the
best I can academically and I jumped at the chance to watch my HEROES do some of there finest work. Quite a few officers would
wave/nod back to me, I was under the assumption they did not mind.
Later that day after my Police Foundations classes ended (Aprox. ****) I was driving my car near the same section to snap some
more pictures. I then noticed D. ***** driving his highway safety police vehicle and I then followed it assuming he was
travelling to the speed trap again. I was extremely excited, I was honestly shaking. I love Police officers, and I still do. I
don't want to come across as a freak of nature. Some people get excited when they see really fancy cars, I get excited when I
see Police officers and Police cars. I have a completely clean criminal record, as does my family.
Mr. ***** then signaled me to pull over. I thought this was strange and when he approached I asked him what was up. He said
"Why are you taking pictures of me and my cruiser". I replied that I was in a Police foundations class and I was interested in
the Highway Safety Division. He then demanded to see my drivers license and insurance. I told them that unless I was being
charged with an offense I had the legal right to retain my identification. I then told them my name was Mitchell ****, and that
I live at ******, *****, Ontario and I was insured under my own name. He was obviously infuriated. I was not trying to be
evasive by any means, I was brought up in a military family and that the right's we fight for as Canadian Solders should be
exercised to the fullest extent. I was exercising my rights as set out in the Canadian Charter and Rights and Freedoms.
Mr. ***** then told me he could charge me with "Stunt Driving" and that he would take my car. I was completely blown off guard
and I explained too him that I didn't do anything wrong. He informed me that he is the officer, I am the "wannabe officer" and
he can charge me with whatever he likes. He explained the minimum fine was $2,000 and they take my car. He then walked away,
this was when I got my identification.
Another officer walked up to my car and asked what I was doing. He explained that Police Officers are leery when people follow
him and recently he was briefed on possible intelligence gathering for the G8 Summit. I explained to him that I was just taking
pictures for my class, and that I was extremely sorry and it would never happen again.
Mr. ***** then returned to my car with a ticket, I was relieved to see that it was a "Failure to surrender license" ticket. I
had my license in my hand and I said sir here is my license, I was only exercising my rights I did not want to come off as a
*EDIT*. He said that he already wrote the ticket and to explain it to the courts. I told him again that I did nothing wrong
and I started crying, I explained I was only taking pictures for personal pleasure/future assignments and that I would never
take pictures again.
He repeated, saying take it up with the courts.
My complaint is that Mr. ***** threatened to charge me with an offense I didn't commit, solely due to the fact that I
exercised my federal rights as a Canadian.
It's ironic, before my offense in my communications for police class I argued that Canada was the greatest country to be a
resident of, due to the fact that individual rights and freedoms are secured. Not even one hour later a police officer
threatens to take my only possession I have (my car) issue me a $2,000 fine for a crime he knew I didn't commit. Solely based
on the fact I exercised my rights in refusing to display identification, he made it clear I was pulled over for taking pictures
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
8. Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.
9. Everyone has the right not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned..
10. Everyone has the right on arrest or detention
a) to be informed promptly of the reasons therefor;
b) to retain and instruct counsel without delay and to be informed of that right; and
c) to have the validity of the detention determined by way of habeas corpus and to be released if the detention is not lawful.
I am under the impression that this officer violated section 8. as I was unrightfully forced to identify myself, even though I was not lawfully required to do
I am under the impression that this officer violated section 9. as I was detained for no lawful reason.
I am under the impression that this officer violated section 10. as he refused to inform me of any wrongdoing until I rightfully refused to allow to seize my
I personally believe he is a good kind man, who does a great service for this great Provence. However I am sincerely afraid of
the OPP now, I now even refuse to drive on highways when I can so I can avoid any contact with them. I cannot afford to have to
my car taken from me if the officer chooses.
May I add, I extend my sincere gratitude to the officer who approached me while Mr. ***** was in his vehicle. He calmly
explained to me what I was doing could be miss-interpreted. This sole man is what kept me from ceasing my relations with the
Police Foundations class.
Thank-you for taking the time to read this.
I do remember, in class we learned of a landmark case that the supreme court stated that proving of licensing and insurance is a search, and stopping a vehicle is a seizure. I cannot find this case as I do not know where too look. I asked a member of the TPS and she stated that she knew of such case, and when it was brought forth all the TPS officers were briefed that random stops are unconstitutional.
Does anyone know of the case I am citing?
What course of action should I take, I am afraid of doing anything but paying the ticket because the officer made it very clear he writes the rules and he can charge me with whatever he wants. I was following him doing 30km/hr in a 50km/hr industrial zone. I was driving with utmost caution is a 1999 sedan.
Again, I know I should not have been taking pictures earlier that day; it was selfish.
"Every driver of a motor vehicle or street motor vehicle shall carry his or her licence with him or her at all times while he or she is in charge of a motor vehicle or street car and shall surrender the licence for reasonable inspection
upon the demand of a police officer or officer appointed for carrying out the provisions of this Act."