Disclosure - City of Toronto Police ICCS Video Evidence

mnstrcck
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Disclosure - City of Toronto Police ICCS Video Evidence

Unread post by mnstrcck on

Hi All,

With my last trial, I undertook a comprehensive study of potential Non-Disclosure issues. I was informed by the Officer at the time of the charges being laid that my offence was captured on video and our interaction was being recorded. Although I never received disclosure, I think you all might be interested in what my search has brought up regarding the In-Car Camera System the Toronto Police force are now using.

From the Toronto Police Service website:

"By mid-2011, all Toronto Police Service front line vehicles will be equipped with ICCS.

The cameras are capable of recording all interactions between police and the public, including traffic stops and rear seat prisoner transportation. The vehicles have two cameras, one facing out the windshield and one that captures the rear seat area.

Officers wear microphones that capture all the audio that occurs and advise the public that the vehicles have the systems in place and that their interaction is being recorded in both video and audio format.

The cameras are activated by the use of the vehicles emergency equipment, manually by the officer or by collision sensors within the vehicle."

http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/incarcamera/

Additionally, here are the Municipal Code rules governing retention of said evidence:

Page 26:

CONFIDENTIAL INSTRUCTIONS CROWN - Provincial Statutes - Highway Traffic Act, etc. - 1 year (after conclusion & expiry of appeal period.

http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/municode/1184_219.pdf

POTENTIAL IMPLICATIONS AND USE:

With the city-wide introduction of the ICCS use in all front line vehicles, chances are that your particular ticket and subsequent interaction with police was [or should have] been captured on the video system. This means it is your right to request disclosure of such evidence, especially considering instances where the trial would consist of your word vs. the police officer's. Improper retention or destruction of said evidence would be a violation of Section 7 of the Charter, and can be successfully argued [Case Law below]. I think it's great that this system is in place, as it adds transparency to the current system and allows for protection as well as oversight to both Police Officers and the public.

Would love to hear your input and thoughts. Any case law suggestions would be great!

CASE LAW:

R. v. Miniaci: http://canlii.ca/t/fn9ck


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hwybear
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Unread post by hwybear on

The case law you mention is regarding a continous recording video system that overwrites itself every 72hrs. That system is completely different than in cruiser video, so therefore...
Reading what you posted it would be "rare" as in maybe 1% chance or less that the offence will be on video. Reason I would say that is that the video is "activated" by the cruiser having it's emergency lights activated.
(ie: officer observes someone not stop at a stop sign, catches up to vehicle, then activates lights and video system starts, interaction with driver, stop is concluded, lights turned off and video ends)

Until the police cruiser video is continuously recording without lights, this will not affect traffic laws, and even then the odds of the continuous video catching the pertinent info when fixed in a set direction (not like a hockey game and camera follows play).
Then continous recording would have a huge expense of millions DVD's recording useless info, costing the taxpayer, when really the purpose of the video is the actual interaction of the officer with someone
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


mnstrcck
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Unread post by mnstrcck on

hwybear,

Thanks for the input. Even if there is a 1% chance that the "infraction" was captured on tape, it still leaves video evidence of the encounter [regardless of how "complete" it is]. My understanding is that the Crown has the responsibility to disclose this evidence, regardless of what it contains, as it may be beneficial to building a defence. If for some reason, the video evidence is destroyed prior to trial, there is a high possibility of building a Section 7 Charter motion. As the case law illustrates. The Crown, or Police for that matter, have no say in whether evidence is or isn't pertinent to someone's defence, and any evidence should be retained [as per guidelines under the Municipal Code] for a period of time needed to insure no miscarriage of justice occurs. That is my understanding of it.

As for DVD's, seriously? Is that how you guys are still doing it? It'd be cheaper and more cost-efficient to invest in some storage stacks. Software regulating the storage and deletion of data would make it easy to maintain what's needed and remove what's not. I'm imagining the data is recorded onto some sort of a digital media [SD, CF, Micro-SD etc] and the officer has to report incidents to make sure the evidence is recorded or backed up properly. Either way, I know the Martin Committee Report touched on guidelines for instances like this. Hopefully we'll be moving forward to a much smoother system of Police-Crown-Defence communication.


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hwybear
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Unread post by hwybear on

mnstrcck wrote:Thanks for the input. Even if there is a 1% chance that the "infraction" was captured on tape, it still leaves video evidence of the encounter [regardless of how "complete" it is]. My understanding is that the Crown has the responsibility to disclose this evidence,
If there is evidence of the actual offence, I would agree, but no evidence of the offence, would be waste of time.
Kinda like some people wanting a "copy" of the front of ticket in disclosure - they already have that
mnstrcck wrote:As for DVD's, seriously? Is that how you guys are still doing it? It'd be cheaper and more cost-efficient to invest in some storage stacks.
I have never seen the in-car video system, there has to be some way the video is recorded onto and then removed from the cruiser. and some sort of replacement put into the cruiser... just saying, lots of expense if it went for a continuous recording procedure, as compared to just when lights activated.
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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Unread post by OPS Copper on

I just read an article that we have 250TB of data stored and just got the approval to spend 2 million to expand that. It was a fight and the usual taxpayer outrage.

This is without in car video.

While software may handle the deleting can you imagine the outrage if something was deleted and then later determined it was needed. Remember at the beginning of an investigation not everything is apparent. That is why we are forced to keep so much information.

OPS


mnstrcck
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Unread post by mnstrcck on

250TB for one division? If it's for the entire force, then it's not much. I imagine in the future, each division would have its own storage room, with data going out on shuttles when needed.

And you backed up my point OPS with the outrage caused by deleted evidence [I'm guessing software would be made that needed human verification prior to deletion]. Since all evidence can be crucial to the defence, deleting it would [and has] caused quite a few acquittals. With minor traffic offences it's not a big deal, but big criminal cases... ouch.






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