Viral police cruiser covert video not in violation of charter rights #Viral #police #cruiser #covert #video #violation #charter #rights Welcome to JeroVibes:
Ali Showbeg’s constitutional rights weren’t breached when an unknown Toronto police officer leaked an in-car video showing him dropping a handgun in the back of a cruiser, a judge has ruled.
The 39-year-old Mississauga man faces a firearms possession charge and refusing to give a breath sample after officers arrested him in downtown Toronto for impaired driving on Oct. 27, 2019.
The arrest and Showbeg’s infamous ride to a police station, capturing him trying to covertly drop the weapon in the back seat, were recorded by the cruiser’s in-car camera system. Within days, the footage was leaked to the media and became a viral sensation on the internet.
In a hearing this spring, defence lawyer Kim Schofield argued evidence of the gun should be excluded and Showbeg’s charges stayed because his Charter privacy rights were violated.
On Thursday, Ontario Court Justice Howard Chisvin rejected the argument.
“The information that was disclosed here of Mr. Showbeg was information that was of a public nature … none of the information disclosed by the video was personal,” Chisvin said reading parts of his written decision in court via zoom on Thursday.
In any event, the video would ultimately have been part of the public record out of necessity, becoming an exhibit at trial, he said.
Showbeg’s evidence that the release caused him extreme psychological harm pre-existed before the leak, the judge continued. “While the leaking of the video may have heightened some of these feelings, it was certainly not the cause of these psychological concerns.”
The decision means the evidence of the mini Sig Sauer pistol stays in. At the time of his arrest, Showbeg was under two lifetime prohibitions not to carry weapons.
Showbeg testified he carries a gun because he fears for his life after being shot in 2015. He is suing Toronto police for failing to protect him.
The judge did, however, find the police violated Showbeg’s rights by not getting him to court in timely fashion. The Crown had conceded the breach.
Yet again, the judge played down the impact of the breach on Showbeg, calling it “relatively minimal.” He noted he remained in custody until March 2021, when he was released on bail.
Chisvin said he would not exclude the evidence, but consider the breach at sentencing.
Because Showbeg admitted the illegal conduct, prosecutor Mark Friedman asked Chisvin whether convictions should be rendered.
The judge deferred any decisions to a future date.
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