This is part of what I recovered of the pictures that the Calgary Police Service (working with a private security company) forced me to "delete". Unfortunately, I seem to have permanently lost most of the image data (both missing whole images and most data in the two that survived). In a weird quirk, my camera's habit of frequently "freezing" and corrupting images, is what might have saved this image. My camera can't display corrupted images like this, so this appeared all black, during the review by the security guard. Previous to that, the cop who took my camera basically gave up on it, since the main display is dead, and he couldn't figure it out, leaving to the undereducated security guard. The good images, seem to be unrecoverable.
I was going home Sunday, July 19, 2009, walking West along 8 Avenue SW, about to cross 1 Street SE, and saw an apparent arrest.
A security guard (not visible) said the pictures I took didn't belong to me, and I wasn't allowed to have any of the images, and they'd have to be deleted.
Then, the other security guard (seen here) talked to a cop, who said it was ok for me to go, with the images, saying the first security person "misspoke".
Then, the next cop, said I couldn't leave with an image that's potential evidence. So, I would have to delete it, if I didn't want to lose my camera for a year. When I said it would be illegal to delete evidence, they said it wasn't evidence if it's deleted. Make sense?
Everybody is welcome and encouraged to freely copy this image, provided you credit me.
Basically, the police don't want independent observers. They want to be the sole source of the "truth".
Update: Metro News Calgary covered the incident in this article by Krista Sylvester, published Wednesday, July 22, 2009.
Update: This incident was covered in an article by Krista Sylvester, published in the Wednesday, July 22, 2009 edition of Metro News Calgary.
Photographer: Robert Thivierge