Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for April 23, 2013

Man’s arrest was unreasonable: commission

Stewart Jamieson wants Yukoners to know their rights.

Stewart Jamieson wants Yukoners to know their rights.

“If we don’t defend our rights, they’ll go away,” he told the Star Monday morning, remembering the old saying “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”

In February 2012, Jamieson was detained by two local RCMP officers, Cpl. Christopher Hutchings and Const. Ian Crowe.

Jamieson fit the description of someone who had been walking in the middle of the road obstructing traffic.

But it wasn’t him.

Jamieson provided his name, as requested, to the first officer, but refused to provide ID.

Under the Yukon Motor Vehicles Act, a person crossing or walking on a highway in a manner contrary to the law must provide his or her name and address upon request.

But it does not specify that he or she must present ID, as Jamieson was well aware.

Following his refusal to provide ID, Jamieson was arrested – an arrest he argues was unlawful.

“I got handcuffed and shoved against the police car and searched and they pulled my wallet out of my pocket and they stuck me in the back of the police car while they ran a check on my ID over the police radio,” he said.

Finding no reason to detain him further, the officers let him go.

Jamieson went immediately to the RCMP station to lodge a complaint, which he followed up in writing a few days later.

After running into road blocks, Jamieson took his concerns to the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP.

A final report released this month by the commission determined that the arrest was in fact unreasonable and, as a result, the force used during that arrest was also unreasonable.

“I would like the public, generally speaking, to become better aware of what their rights are in various situations so they’re not too inclined to sheepishly go along with whatever they’re told. Especially if they get put on the spot,” said Jamieson.

“People need to be better-informed, and that’s why it’s good that there are such things as the Yukon Public Legal Education Association.”

The final report recommends that the RCMP provide Hutchings and Crowe with “operational guidance” regarding their powers under the Motor Vehicles Act.

Jamieson doesn’t accept that the officers didn’t understand the law.

“That’s not much of an excuse to get from police; they should know better than that,” he said.

And he’s disappointed it took more than a year for the commission to vindicate his concerns, even more so that the officers barely received a tsk, tsk for their actions.

“It doesn’t go as far as I would have wanted it to, but at least it is in my favour, and it supports my main contention,” he said.

The Whitehorse RCMP could not be reached for comment before deadline early this afternoon.

CommentsAdd a comment

Stan Rogers

Apr 23, 2013 at 3:29 pm

“I would like the public, generally speaking, to become better aware of what their rights are in various situations so they’re not too inclined to sheepishly go along with whatever they’re told. Especially if they get put on the spot,” said Jamieson.

Way to go Stewart Jamieson- its nice to know and exercise our rights.

flyingfur

Apr 23, 2013 at 4:06 pm

It is my understanding that if you are stopped by police and asked to show your ID that you just show it and to do otherwise is a contravention of the Criminal Code.  Not sure what this Commission is talking about; I think legally they are wrong and this guy Jamieson should have just pulled out his wallet and showed them his ID instead of spending the last year bitching about it.

snow canoe

Apr 23, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Congratulations Stewart Jamieson in standing up for your (and our) rights! The authorities do not, and should not, have the right to arbitrarily demand to see any ones identification. Thank you for helping the RCMP remember that important detail.

DMZ

Apr 23, 2013 at 5:15 pm

If we lived in a police state, flying fur, you would be correct. So far, we don’t.

Stewart Jamieson is a hero for clearing that up again, as obviously it’s easy to forget.

Arn Anderson

Apr 23, 2013 at 5:41 pm

In flyingfur’s eyes, everyone is an criminal, onus is on you to prove your bitching about the fictitous Criminal Code. Read up on Canadian law first, sigh…

Max Mack

Apr 23, 2013 at 5:52 pm

Flyingfur . . . you are wrong. There are only limited situations where the police can demand that you identify yourself. They do not have carte blanche powers.
Jamieson was unlawfully detained and searched, and forcibly identified without reasonable grounds.

Jackie Ward

Apr 23, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Flyingfur: “Under the Yukon Motor Vehicles Act, a person crossing or walking on a highway in a manner contrary to the law must provide his or her name and address upon request.

But it does not specify that he or she must present ID, as Jamieson was well aware.”

Maybe you are the one who has an understanding problem. I laugh at these armchair experts who “believe” they are right about every thing but are usually wrong. In this case I would say that’s the exact situation here. Having an “understanding” of something usually means you actually don’t know what you are talking about. But according to yourself you believe you are right because no one has ever corrected you.  Well, it’s correction time, lol.

Northone

Apr 23, 2013 at 7:57 pm

@flyingfur - the police did not have the right to arbitrarily ask for id in this case - if they didn’t know this, they should not be given badges and guns.  An unlawful cuffing and arrest should not be taken lightly under any circumstances.  Thankfully we do not live in a police state where we can be arbitrarily harassed by anyone in authority for no reason.

Thank you to Stewart Jamieson for standing up for his rights and for the rights of all of us to be free from unreasonable harassment.

June Jackson

Apr 23, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Where were you when the government put in the 11th grade social studies books that the government of Canada imposes censorship on its citizens to protect it from American influence.  Your license was small stuff.. and needless too.  You always show your license to the guy with the gun.  Also..the original quote from Thomas Jefferson meant freedom of religion. “The price of freedom is death”  is from Malcom X and refers to personal rights and freedoms.

Paul Malkin

Apr 24, 2013 at 10:48 am

Well done Stewart! We are living in an age when we are seeing our rights melting away. I am not saying that we need to complain about everything the police do. I ran the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen in the 1990’s and saw many times the gracious conduct shown to the peoples of Whitehorse by the RCMP. I hope these officers understand that not all folks are criminals and shouldn’t treated as such. Paul

valleygirl

Apr 24, 2013 at 1:14 pm

I am interested in what types of “road blocks” Jamieson ran into into when attempting to resolve the issue at the detachment level? 

I will ensure that I remember the names of those officers involved….. Hutchings and Crowe

hmmm

Apr 24, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Ph give me a break if you got nothing to hide show your ID. Usually the only ones trying to hide behind the law have something to hide.

flyingfur

Apr 24, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Perhaps I’m wrong but there is jurisprudence on this subject and section 139.2 of the Criminal Code of Canada reads as follows” (2) Every one who wilfully attempts in any manner other than a manner described in subsection (1) to obstruct, pervert or defeat the course of justice is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years.  It is general language on obstruction.

Officers in this case were responding to a serious complaint of an individual acting dangerously, most of all to himself, while out on the roadway and had every right to ask for ID to establish who this guy was.  He did not cooperate…that’s obstruction.  They were acting in the public’s interest and it’s not like they tasered him or anything…they asked for his ID.

flyingfur

Apr 24, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Read the SCC case from 1978…Moore vs. The Queen.

Jackie:  You should learn to put forward your own argument rather than just take up space on these forums taking shots at people who happen to have an actual opinion on the subject at hand…whether you agree with it or not. 

There was nothing arbitrary about the police request which separates this from an officer just walking up and asking for you ID.

Karyn Atlin

Apr 24, 2013 at 2:46 pm

Great that you stuck to the fight of preserving your rights Stewart thank you for doing something that benefits us all. For those interested in knowing your rights there is some great info published by David Eby called the Arrest Handbook: A guide to your rights (pg 62) It can be found posted on the BC Civil Liberties Association website. http://www.bccla.org

Mandeep

Apr 24, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Nicely done.
Am dealing with the same thing right now. The problem with the system is there is actually no recourse. They can find you right (the public commission) but they can’t do anything.

The Complaints against the RCMP (an RCMP agency) merely looks into the complaint and then makes recommendations. They also will dissuade individuals from taking legal action as the courts and crown lawyers work in the favour of administration.

Judicial backs administration no matter how wrong it may be. Glad to see you follow through with it. One question… do you feel anything has changed and has there been any sort of penalty for the cops actions?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPIT92uS8m8

Filed a complaint about this. Yes you are allowed to record cops. Was pulled over by an officer travelling in the opposite direction. Wanted to record the event as had done nothing wrong. After the video he asked for my license and registration (provided it)... he didn’t even look at it, he just handed it back and walked away.

Wayne

Apr 24, 2013 at 5:17 pm

You must provide ID to a cop if you are driving a car, are in a bar, or in a movie theatre.

anonymous

Apr 24, 2013 at 6:00 pm

What is the big deal? If you had nothing to hide why wouldn’t you just show your ID.  There are worse things you know.

DMZ

Apr 25, 2013 at 2:26 pm

flying fur, Stewart Jamieson was walking along the road. The police were told someone was walking in the middle of the road, which would make the person subject to the Motor Vehicles provision. They didn’t see Stewart walking in the middle of the road, he was the first person they saw walking beside the road. That’s just a coincidence, not cause for suspicion. Come on. The officers escalated an incident from a non-issue, Stewart did not.

You have a harsh view of our rights and the law, if you think that just knowing them makes you obstructive or suspicious.

Donald Donaldson

Apr 25, 2013 at 8:28 pm

The officer in that video was quite pleasant contrary to your behavior in the other U-Tube video you uploaded.  What were you thinking?  Probably why you are in court over it.

COMMON SENSE

Apr 26, 2013 at 11:53 am

THEY GO TO HIGH SCHOOLS AND ETHNIC GROUP TO WIN THERE RESPECT BACK BACK AND IN A BLINK A COUPLE BAD APPLES TARNISH THERE IMAGE AGAIN .THIS MAN HAS BEEN WALKING AROUND THE CITY SINCE I MOVED HERE IN 89,SAW HIM ALWAYS WALKING ON THE SIDE WALK. WAITING AT CROSS WALKS. HOPE I KEEP SEEING YOU MR.JAMIESON ENJOYING YOUR WALKS WITH FREEDOM.

TOM STEVENS

Apr 28, 2013 at 11:52 pm

The RCMP really need to be revamped and recycled.  They will not investigate themselves with any form of honesty or integrity and when they are found guilty they find a way to minimize the responsibility.  This person should not have had to go all the way to the Public Complaints Commission.  It should have been dealt with immediately at the front line.  And for all the legal beagles, it was a traffic complaint, not a crime and to handcuff and arrest this male without a lawful purpose is exactly what was ruled…“unlawful” and congrats to him for challenging this lack of competence and training.

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