The video opens with one black youth being detained and another searched by two officers in the parking lot of a plaza at Jane St. and Lawrence Ave. W., a routine scene for an area of Toronto where police have stopped and documented — or “carded” — citizens the most.
Concerned about carding and its racial disparities, passerby Mike Miller, who witnessed this scene on Sept. 14, decided to turn on his phone’s camera.
Moments later, the video shows two more officers arriving from TAVIS, a provincially funded unit. One of the arresting officers directs the backup officers to “turn the camera on that guy.”
The backup officers, constables Brian Smith and Shawn Gill, get so close to Miller that his lens is filled with their images instead of the arrest. He has to keep stepping backwards to get away from them as they ask why he’s filming and why he’s there.