dog in laundry

Morning Brew: Toronto police recording encounters, city considers ending beach restaurant monopoly, Rob Ford apologizes for comments about gays and AIDS, SIU accuses Julian Fantino of misconduct, 4000 tickets issued for driving and using mobile devices

It's pitting officer safety and accountability against our individual privacy rights. Toronto Police have been using wireless microphones to produce audio recordings of interactions with citizens -- as a means of gathering "quality evidence." But should they be required to inform you that you're being recorded? Can they use what they record -- with or without your knowing you're being recorded -- against you personally in a legal context? According to one Toronto lawyer, it's a bit of a grey area.

Here's a tough call. Should the area around the beaches at Ashbridges Bay be protected from fast-food chains, by extending a monopoly to the one existing pub given the space? Or should the city open things up to competitive bidding and allow other businesses to set up shop on the prized land?

The BMW was pulled over and the driver charged with street racing, but the other car got away. Police are looking for the driver of a Mercedes-Benz that was clocked doing a incredible 224km/hr (in a 100km/hr zone) on the Gardiner Expressway early yesterday.

Mayoral candidate Rob Ford made an awkward apology to a gay man, in the presence of a Toronto Star reporter, for his comments about homosexuals and AIDS back in 2006. It's clearly an effort to clean up a tarnished image he's created himself and recently highlighted by his opponent George Smitherman.

OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino is facing scrutiny by the SIU and the NDP are calling for his resignation after it's alleged that on two occasions he a number of his officers acted illegally in two investigations into fatal shootings of suspects last year. Questionable alleged conduct includes failing to immediately notify the SIU following an incident, allowing two officers to consult the same lawyer, and allowing officers to scribe separate notes for their laywer and the OPP.

And in just three months, over 4000 tickets have been issued to drivers who have been caught using mobile devices while behind the wheel. Toronto Police Sgt. Tim Burrows says that as enforcement continues, the number of fines handed out is actually rising, which suggests that drivers aren't really abiding by the new law so much.

Photo: "scout in laundry" by nathan.legiehn, member of the blogTO Flickr pool.


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