Sunday, March 09, 2008


Oldtown News
Vancouver, BC


Today at 12 noon, I heard a young woman outside my building in the back alley screaming and crying. She was obviously very distraught. She had a broken bottle in her hand and kept repeating over and over, "I hate you - I hate you".

A number of police arrived. Seven officers in uniform were present and they stood back a bit from the young blonde woman. Only one female officer was present and one of the male officers was filming the entire time. The lady continued to scream I hate you and when she came into my view again, I could see had slashed her arms and there was blood everywhere. She kept shouting at the police to go ahead and shoot her.

This was unsettling enough hearing her anguished screams but even more unsettling was that the police continued to film her, obviously without her consent. She appeared agitated over this and continued to shout go ahead kill me and put my head in the freezer. This obviously was a reference to a number of Pickton's victims.

The ambulance arrived and took care of the woman's medical needs and wrapped both arms in bandages. The police then began the process of arrest and the one female officer appeared to have her handcuffs ready to cuff and I stated in a loud voice that I can't believe they are going to handcuff her especially with the damage to her arms. Something happened in this moment and she wasn't handcuffed, although she was under arrest, I assume under the mental health act.

I am left wondering though whether it is appropriate to film someone in the condition this young lady was in. I'm not certain what the motives of the police are in this regard, perhaps it is to make the tape available to demonstrate the need for more resources down here in Oldtown.

What I ask though to engage my readers and friends and contacts, is whether they think it appropriate to film someone in such a distraught state and whether this individual could have possibly provided informed consent considering her condition. Another question for my readers is whether the police have the right to videotape in a situation where there hasn't been a criminal act committed. Are the police crossing a line by taping someone who is obviously in distress and demonstrating a lack of respect and dignity in such a horrible situation as the one I just witnessed?

Names of those replying will be kept confidential.

Jamie Lee Hamilton


Post a Comment

<< Home