Watching the watchers watch me

Watching the watchers watch me

This is a picture the police took at an event I was photographing. I recently filed a FOIP (Freedom Of Information and Privacy) Request to find out what information the Calgary Police Service have on me, mainly related to a case of brutality which I shot pictures of, which they destroyed, as part of a coverup in July 2009.

This photo wasn’t related to that. It was one of the times I was covering a protest. Police regularly document anybody attending certain types of protests. No context was given for this photo, so I’m not certain, but it looks like a pro-Marijuana rally in May 2010 at City Hall. The picture in the lower left was taken by me there.

They had one other photo of me, but I haven’t a clue where it was taken, since the only thing that could be made out was me. I know they have more, but aren’t releasing them (I love to snap pics of them snapping pics of me). I placed this image in a set with other images that feature law enforcement, including those with cameras.

Police monitoring is pretty heavy at any protest critical of the US foreign policy and/or our miltary operations. Perhaps, in fifty years, we’ll find there’s a PROFUNC2, complete with a list of everyone who attended such rallies (just as was done with "leftists" in the past with the first PROFUNC, only revealed this year, decades later).

I didn’t file a FOIP for a long period, because I knew they wouldn’t reveal much. I was correct. They did give a few interesting tidbits, but obviously they protected information about criminal activity on the part of the CPS (four white officers using needless violence on a single subdued nonwhite suspect and destruction of photos showing that).

They do cite policy which says:

Part 7, Chatper H (2) (3) "Police officers will neither facilitate nor limit the taking of photographs in public places of suspects in custody."

The FOIP response doesn’t uncover anything. It just makes the coverup that much more official.

Section 17(1) of the FOIP Act prevents disclosure of private information on third parties. They used this to refuse *any* information related to the arrest of the person I photographed. I asked for the non-personal details, but they are hiding everything. So, basically, police can violently assault a person, destroy photos of the assault, and then refuse to explain themselves, all in the name of "protecting" the person they assaulted.

One nice thing you should know, is that the police read every word I wrote on FlickR about the incident, and everything left in comments by folks like you. In one email between officers (referring to a link to the photo, which explained the incident) he said (these are snippets taken out of larger emails):

"It is important to read the comments right to the bottom."

"He has quite the following on this matter."

Date Taken2010-10-22 13:45:20
FlickR Views2,011
FlickR Faves0

This page was created by Rob’s FlickR Importer on May 20, 2021 @ 12:02 pm EDT.