Skip to content Skip to main navigation

News

Skilled legal advice with
accessible & personal attention

The Preacher lashes out in Ainslie? – Police demand RiotACT Editor destroy evidence!

By johnboy - 6 July 2009 182

[First filed: July 04, 2009 @ 19:00]

For a couple of weeks now Ainslie residents have been surprised that their shops had a preacher in residence. With long wild black hair and dressed all in black he would stand there addressing no-one in particular making no real sense at all.

The big black headphones clamped over his ears were a particular highlight of the getup. What was he listening to as he preached?

Today at around 4.20 I was having a beer in Edgars when suddenly the street was full of ambulances and police cars.

A little while later a man, covered in blood, was put into the back of one of the ambulances. The scuttlebutt was that he had been stabbed in the neck.

A friend who had been watching proceedings reported that a man was sitting outside Theo’s Takeaway draped in a white sheet.

I popped out to take a quick photograph and noted that the man in the sheet, supervised by police, appeared to be the preacher and was wearing big black headphones.

And here’s the even scarier part:

Returning to the bar I had time to order a pint when a policeman came in and demanded to see the photograph I had taken.

I asked under what power he was making the demand. He replied, as close as I can recall it:

    “If you don’t delete that photograph I will confiscate your camera as evidence”

Now I believe I could have, in all lawfulness, refused him and would, eventually, have won. But I might well have lost the use of the camera for weeks and spent a night in a cell. When police are already making illegal demands that evidence be destroyed taking the quick way out to be able to tell the tale strikes me as the better way to go.

Especially as my understanding is that the delete button on a camera does not actually destroy the image, only make it hard to find. As I type retrieval software is working over the card (and disco, it worked). I deleted the photograph with him watching over my shoulder and then we went for a little browse of my camera checking for other images.

If the photograph was evidence: I had been instructed to destroy it, by a policeman, on threat of being deprived of my property.

If it is not evidence: ACT Policing are illegally ordering the destruction of images they find inconvenient, with the threat of deprivation of property and/or liberty.

I consider both possibilities to be of grave concern.

Either way it suggests police are more than happy to use the threat of confiscation of “evidence” to achieve outcomes they have no legal basis for.

[I should note, however, that the police response in general was extremely swift and effective. Around an hour after the incident the man in the white sheet was quietly and gently placed in the back of a van, and his headphones finally removed.]

UPDATE: The Canberra Times story on this is online. The ABC’s report is also available.

FURTHER UPDATE: The police media release on the incident is now online:

    A 36-year old Ainslie man is assisting police with their inquiries following a stabbing at Ainslie on July 4.

    About 4.30pm police and ambulance officers were called to the Ainslie shops on Edgar Street where a 43-year-old man had received multiple stab wounds to his head and neck area. Paramedics stabilised the man before transporting him to The Canberra Hospital where his condition is listed as serious but stable.

    A man was apprehended at the scene and was treated by ambulance officers for minor injuries to his hand. He is currently being questioned by police.

    AFP Forensics officers are on site and investigations into the incident are continuing.

    Police are appealing for any witnesses to the incident to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

What’s Your opinion?


Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
182 Responses to
The Preacher lashes out in Ainslie? – Police demand RiotACT Editor destroy evidence!
Ruby Wednesday 8:08 pm 04 Jul 09

Spideydog said :

TAD said :

It must be something learned or taught. I just remember a local youtube clip I saw a while back.

Check out the last thing said.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KZstpkS8go

The guy was about to assault the Police officer and as such, the video is evidence. Don’t see the issue in that one.

Even in that one, there’s no reason to seize the phone ‘for evidence’ if he takes another photo. That it is worded as a threat (‘If you take another photo, your phone suddenly becomes evidence) means that she clearly thinks she doesn’t need the phone or its contents and she has no way of telling what future photos would contain and thus provide evidence of.

wellfargyaden 8:03 pm 04 Jul 09

I don’t know about photographing a public servant but I have heard before that photographing a police officer in the course of their duty (without authority) is an offence, although presumably not often enforced. Did you stop to think though that maybe the police officer was trying to protect whatever dignity the Preacher may have still had? It was bad enough that he was sitting there, handcuffed and bleeding in front of the dozens of on gawkers (of whom I was one)without someone stepping out of the pub between pints to take a photo of him. He presumably couldn’t be placed in the van untill he’d been treated by ambos for his own bleeding (I understand he cut himself probbaly on the knife he used as a weapon). Imagine if one of your kids had been picked up for shoplifting and as they were being led away some prat stepped out of the pub to take a photo of them, I know how I’d feel.

Spideydog 7:59 pm 04 Jul 09

It was pretty obvious it was not welcome.

Mike Bessenger 7:58 pm 04 Jul 09

Looked more like he was trying to give her a happy new year cuddle.

Spideydog 7:54 pm 04 Jul 09

TAD said :

It must be something learned or taught. I just remember a local youtube clip I saw a while back.

Check out the last thing said.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KZstpkS8go

The guy was about to assault the Police officer and as such, the video is evidence. Don’t see the issue in that one.

Deadmandrinking 7:44 pm 04 Jul 09

Saw the police on my way back from work on the bus, about maybe 20 minutes ago, was wondering what that was.

This is the worse aspect of mental illness. I hope the guy who got stabbed in the neck will be alright, and I hope the ‘preacher’ gets some help. Sounds like he may need to be institutionalized for a while. Insert rant about mental health services here…which will inevitably come down to cost-effectiveness having nothing to do with reality.

On the photo issue…what a disgusting display from our local plods. Didn’t they have a job to do, I don’t know, dealing with the scene of a STABBING, rather than harassing picture-takers?

TAD 7:43 pm 04 Jul 09

It must be something learned or taught. I just remember a local youtube clip I saw a while back.

Check out the last thing said.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KZstpkS8go

Mick 7:38 pm 04 Jul 09

Cops are still there. It’s a bit scary that this happens in the neighbourhood, and here I was worried about moving back to West Belco 🙂

Mike Bessenger 7:27 pm 04 Jul 09

I was in a similar situtation a few years a go where a policeman confronted me and said I have to delete the photos I have taken or I would find myself in trouble. In front of a small crowd (about 25) I told him that I know my rights and that infront of a crowd of witnesses it was not in his best interests to be making threats. I continued to take photo’s as he walked off. If I didn’t have witnesses I’m sure I would of been arrested and beat uo in the back of the van.
Stand your ground, and they will soon back off.

Granny 7:26 pm 04 Jul 09

This is really, really serious actually. What johnboy said. I think questions need to be asked at the highest levels.

What were they thinking??

BerraBoy68 7:19 pm 04 Jul 09

I’m more saddened by what happened to this guy (The Preacher). I’ve seen him in Civic several times now, most recently on Tuesday this week, running through his script outside the old Starbucks. I thought he was harmless and well-meaning. Something must have set him off.

TAD 7:17 pm 04 Jul 09

It’s a public place so you can snap away to your heart’s content. The copper was just bluffing you as he didn’t want to be photographed working.

Next time call his bluff. A whole world of hurt would come down on him if he had seized your camera.

Is that him in the pic? I myself have always liked pics from the public as it makes the brief much stronger.

caf 7:16 pm 04 Jul 09

Oh and as for “But you aren’t permitted to take pictures of Public Servants doing their job.“, I call bullshit.

caf 7:12 pm 04 Jul 09

If they delete the photos from your camera, they’re destroying your property.

TP 3000 7:10 pm 04 Jul 09

From what I have been told you can pictures of what ever happens in public. But you aren’t permitted to take pictures of Public Servants doing their job. In fact it may be best if the the face of the Police Officers are blacked out. As the officer could be identified & problems could arise it.

But if your photo was saved onto your memory card, if they enforced you hand the in the picture as evidence, just give them the memory card.

1 2 3 13

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
www.the-riotact.com | www.b2bmagazine.com.au | www.thisiscanberra.com

Search across the site