Toronto cops to receive microphones, civil rights questions
Torontonians are getting their own mini–civil rights debate as Toronto police officers stand to be equipped with surveillance microphones attached to their uniforms. The mics will be connected wirelessly to a receiver in a police cruiser and will begin recording when a cruiser’s emergency lights are turned on or, more dubiously, when an officer feels it’s worth it.
Police say the microphones will record interactions with the public to promote “accountability” and “officer safety.” The Post says civil liberties groups are in an uproar about it, but the paper quoted only one source in B.C., who said, rather vaguely, that the microphones could create “a heightened sense of concern” for people dealing with the cops.
The whole thing seems kind of tame, considering that in Holland, police use cameras and microphones in public spaces to try to detect violent behaviour before it occurs. We’re all for interesting civil rights debates, but for now we’re going to hold off on crying “big brother” and go watch Cops.
• Toronto police recording encounters with the public [National Post]