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A Canadian filmmaker working on a documentary had his camera seized by four police officers Wednesday. John Paskievich, whose award-winning documentaries focus on the struggles of the working-class and immigrant communities, was filming a backhoe operator digging access to a natural gas li

Winnipeg police confiscate filmmaker's camera


A Canadian filmmaker working on a documentary had his camera seized by four police officers Wednesday.

John Paskievich, whose award-winning documentaries focus on the struggles of the working-class and immigrant communities, was filming a backhoe operator digging access to a natural gas line in Winnipeg.

The work was being done in preparation for the city to shut off the supply to 89 Gertie St., a house owned by his latest film subject, animator Ed Ackerman.

The dilapidated house is to be razed by the city.

Police ordered him to stop filming because he was making the backhoe operator “uneasy”, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Paskievich was able to pick up his camera later on that day at the police station and the footage was not deleted but he was not given a valid legal reason why his camera was confiscated.

“I’ve run into this before in places like the Soviet Union, in Eastern Europe, but not here in Canada. This is the first time [in this country], after being in the business of photography and documentary film for about 30 years,” he said.

About Carlos Miller

Carlos Miller is founder and publisher of Photography is Not a Crime, which began as a one-man blog in 2007 to document his trial after he was arrested for photographing police during a journalistic assignment. He is also the author of The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which can be purchased through Amazon.

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