Goldsmith’s Article

Posted: November 18, 2011 by jeffield in Policing's New Visibility

As stated by Goldsmith in his 2010 article, Policing’s New Visibility, recent expansion in the availability of video cameras has created an environment in which the public has a much better visibility of the police and their actions, particularly misconduct. Such is the case with Kelowna RCMP Constable Geoff Mantler, who participated in the arrest of Buddy Tavares in January, kicking the man in the head as he was getting on the ground and complying with the police.

The video was captured on a cell phone, and uploaded onto the social video site YouTube, two technologies which Goldsmith believes are radically changing police visibility. Mantler is clearly shown arresting the man at gunpoint, and kicking him in the face while he is on his knees. The following video has nearly 80 000 views on YouTube.

There were many witnesses, and coupled with the video, the Abbotsford police investigation led to him being charged with assault causing bodily harm. The victim, Buddy Tavares, was licensed to carry the long gun for which he was arrested, and was employed by the local golf course to shoot geese. Having suffered brain damage before, the kick to the head, which can be seen in the video to cause bleeding, caused so much damage that Tavares couldn’t continue working. The constable’s trial revolved around whether he was reasonable in delivering so much force, and he has already been accused of several other alleged misuses of force. This case demonstrates the power of video, as the constable has never been charged before because of a lack of evidence; video recording in the hands of the public leads to greater police visibility and accountability.

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