Tuesday, November 28, 2006
A police Force from outside of New Brunswick will investigate my complaint.
I'm just taking this issue one day at a time.
Acquittal Charles LeBlanc found not guilty of obstructing a police officer
Candice Mac Lean
As published on page C2 on November 28, 2006
SAINT JOHN - A complaint lodged with the Saint John Police Force by Charles LeBlanc is being revisited now that the Fredericton blogger has had his day in court.
LeBlanc was acquitted on charges of obstructing a police officer on Friday after a lengthy trial. The charges stemmed from a demonstration in June at the Atlantica business conference in Saint John.
"We can't do a parallel investigation so we wait until the court trial is finished," Sgt. Pat Bonner of the Saint John Police Force said Monday.
Bonner said in these kind of circumstances, some people choose not to go ahead with their complaint after a trial, but LeBlanc is insisting on pressing ahead with his. Bonner couldn't provide details on the complaint.
LeBlanc's politically driven blog, and his trial, gained much attention, and was covered by The New York Times Monday.
The judge in the trial of the self-styled Internet journalist said Leblanc was just trying to do his job when he was arrested by police during a rowdy protest at the Saint John Trade and Convention Centre.
Evidence presented during LeBlanc's trial showed the blogger was simply snapping pictures of the protest that spilled into the lobby of the convention centre when Saint John police officer Sgt. John Parks pinned him to the floor and arrested him for obstruction.
While Judge William McCarroll praised police officers at the demonstration for their bravery in controlling an unruly mob, he said LeBlanc clearly was not part of the protest and there was no good reason to arrest him.
"He was simply plying his trade, gathering photographs and information for his blog alongside other news reporters," said the judge.
The judge also was critical of Parks for deleting at least one photograph of himself from LeBlanc's camera following the arrest.
McCarroll said the officer needed a search warrant to look through the images on the camera, which he did not have.
"He had no legal right to erase a picture from Mr. LeBlanc's camera."
Parks testified during the trial that he had only deleted one picture but LeBlanc says more than 200 were gone when he got his camera back.
Outside the courtroom, LeBlanc, tears in his eyes, praised the decision.
"Charles LeBlanc don't lie," said the blogger who has raised the hackles of some New Brunswickers with his intrusive pictures and strong opinions. He also promised to ask for an inquiry into police conduct in his case. He said if he doesn't get it, he would be blogging about his unlawful arrest for years to come.
I bet they're going to add a jab against me???? Should be interesting but the New York Times got the story first...lol