Updating ‘alternative facts’……
…….policing in the age of video
………prison postings return next week.
From a February 5th posting last year:-
“Waseem Khan was in downtown Toronto with his wife on the last Tuesday morning in January, taking his daughter to daycare. He saw one in a group of police officers pull a man from the back seat of a cruiser, put him face down on the ground, and then kick the man in the head. Khan stopped after witnessing that, took out his phone, and began recording from about 20 feet away.
The video shows an officer stomping on the man’s legs, telling him to “stop resisting”, even though the man was motionless and may have been unconscious. Two officers approached Khan, telling him to stop recording, threatening to take his phone as evidence (which they cannot do), and suggesting the man under police control might spit at him and transmit AIDS (which is not true). Khan stopped recording shortly after, but filed a complaint, calling police behavior ‘disgusting’.”
Khan’s complaint to the Office of Independent Police Review Director was investigated and charges of discreditable conduct and use of excessive force were laid against Sgt. Eduardo Miranda.
At a tribunal hearing last week, Mr. Khan received an apology from the sergeant. Both charges were withdrawn following mediation facilitated by the OIPRD, and a settlement which does have any financial component is confidential. Both Waseem Khan and his lawyer believe the apology is sincere. Toronto Police said they were also reviewing its use-of-force protocols and intended to address misinformation about the transmission of the AIDS virus.
After the incident last year, police spokespeople had suggested that the video did not tell the whole story, and ‘alternative facts’ (although that terminology was not used) played a role in what was recorded by Mr. Khan’s phone.
We raise two points:
The police knew they were being recorded in January of 2017, yet events unfolded as filmed. What doesn’t get recorded when a camera isn’t around?
The video didn’t tell the whole story police say. That’s correct. But we asked a question to conclude that posting back on February 5, 2017….and the tribunal didn’t answer it.
“…under what circumstance is it okay for a police officer to kick a prone man in the head?”