(Sherbrooke) The last page of a long saga has now turned to the protesters arrested during spring maple and then acquitted in Municipal Court. The demonstrators demanded that the Sherbrooke Police Service (SPS) destroy the photos taken during their arrest in May 2012, by profiling fear. The SPS has accepted their request, ending a long chapter.
Thirty or so protesters who had received an infringement under Article 500.1 of the Code of tickets Road Safety (CSR) during a demonstration in May 2012 were acquitted in February by Judge Alain Boisvert of the municipal Court of Sherbrooke.
The arrests were initially made under Law 12 (a law passed by the Charest government, better known as Bill 78) and finally changed for the CSR of offense.
The judgment thus ended a long saga. However, the protesters also demanded the destruction of the pictures taken during the arrests. The court had therefore been seized of this request. The photos were taken during the applicants’ detention in May 2012. They had been kept in a SPS database.
The applicants argued that the picture taking was unlawful, in particular because the Act on the Identification of Criminals could not apply to the issuance of a regulatory offense.
In the judgment of the Alain Boisvert last spring judge, it says a sergeant conducted the photo shoot “but did not say who ordered or required to perform this operation.” “The senior officers who testified did not confirm ordering this photo shoot.” “Specifically, Lieutenant Rancourt called this illegal meeting,” reads well.
The court stated that the Municipal Court has no jurisdiction to order the destruction of photographs, an interpretation with which one of the lawyers of the protesters, Mr. Denis Barrette, do not agree.
However, the SPS finally agreed to the request of the applicants and destroyed the pictures.
“The implications were minimal for us; it was not absolutely relevant to keep them, “the spokesman for the SPS, Samuel Ducharme, adding that engage in legal proceedings would have been costly.
Additionally, when the Act respecting the identification of criminals, it is expected that in the case of acquittal, photos must be destroyed. This law does not apply in this case, but it is likely that the same reasoning could be applied, since protesters were acquitted.
Earlier this week, Le Devoir revealed that the Human Rights Commission and Youth Rights complaint against the City of Quebec and its police department. The Committee considers that “the Quebec City police arrested dozens of peaceful demonstrators simply because they wore a red square in the spring 2012 student.”
One of the protesters arrested in Sherbrooke and acquitted in February Étienne Bélanger-Caron, believes that the decision of the commission will highlight a larger problem that profiling for political convictions, including the profiling of some marginal groups. The destruction of photos by the SPS comes to close the final chapter in the saga of spring maple.