Monday, November 20, 2006
He asked me not to blog about today's trial so therefore I won't but as the Judge twice said - This should be very interesting!!!!
LeBlanc said he was blogger, policeman testifies
Last Updated: Monday, November 20, 2006 | 5:39 PM AT
A Saint John police officer who pinned Charles LeBlanc to the ground during a protest in the summer testified Monday that the well-known blogger identified himself as an internet journalist before his arrest.
The case has drawn attention in journalism circles across the country at a time when bloggers have begun to gain some recognition as legitimate journalists. LeBlanc, who watched as police temporarily confiscated his camera and deleted a photo, is arguing that freedom of the press should extend to all journalists, not just those working for big media companies.
LeBlanc, who writes about politics and poverty on his website, was arrested at a demonstration outside a business conference at the Saint John Trade and Convention Centre. He was charged with obstruction of justice.
As the trial resumed in Saint John on Monday, Sgt. John Parks told the court he arrested LeBlanc as approximately 30 to 40 protesters dressed in black, and some wearing masks, attempted to storm the convention centre.
Parks told the court he noticed LeBlanc coming at him from behind with a camera and, since he appeared scruffy and wasn't wearing business clothes like the other members of the media, assumed LeBlanc was part of the protest.
The officer said he warned LeBlanc to leave the scene or else he would be arrested. LeBlanc answered that he was with the media covering the event and was a blogger, Parks testified.
As LeBlanc was arrested, he was knocked to the ground by Parks and Const. Tanya Lawlor. Parks testified that he then retrieved LeBlanc's digital camera and deleted a photo of himself.
Lawlor testified that she helped Parks arrest LeBlanc. She said the protester was not listening to police and resisting their efforts.
After the incident, Lawlor said she looked up LeBlanc's blog on the internet, and found pictures of herself brandishing a baton to ward off protesters, set to the song Kung Fu Fighting.
She said it made her feel humiliated and demoralized.
The trial was to continue on Tuesday.