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Canada Police had no right to seize hidden bedside camera from Airbnb condo, judge says

09:53  07 february  2020
09:53  07 february  2020 Source:   msn.com

Three dead, two injured in shooting at downtown Toronto Airbnb

  Three dead, two injured in shooting at downtown Toronto Airbnb TORONTO — Three men are dead and two are injured following a shooting that police said happened Friday night at an Airbnb rental in downtown Toronto. Police said the shooting call came in around 10:30 p.m. and that officers were dispatched to a condo located at the intersection of Queens Wharf Road and Fort York Boulevard. Chief Mark Saunders said three of the victims died after being rushed to a trauma centre, while a fourth man suffered a non-life threatening gunshot wound and another sustained a minor cut.

A police officer had no right to enter a condo rented to an Airbnb guest who found a video camera hidden in a clock pointed at the bed , an Ontario judge has ruled. The decision effectively ended the voyeurism prosecution of the Toronto condo owner, Michael Chow.

A police officer had no right to enter a condo rented to an Airbnb guest who found a video camera hidden in a clock pointed at the bed , an Ontario judge has ruled. The decision effectively ended the voyeurism prosecution of the Toronto condo owner, Michael Chow.

a tall building in a city© Provided by The Canadian Press

TORONTO — A police officer had no right to enter a condo rented to an Airbnb guest who found a video camera hidden in a clock pointed at the bed, an Ontario judge has ruled.

The decision effectively ended the voyeurism prosecution of the Toronto condo owner, Michael Chow. He had argued police had breached his rights by going into the apartment and seizing the camera without a warrant, even though the aggrieved guest had invited an officer in.

"The police not only breached Mr. Chow's rights by entering and searching the apartment without a warrant, but they continued to breach his rights by seizing his property and searching it," Ontario court judge Joseph Bovard said in the decision. "Admitting evidence that was obtained in such a manner would bring the administration of justice into disrepute."

3 dead, 2 injured after shooting at Airbnb in downtown Toronto

  3 dead, 2 injured after shooting at Airbnb in downtown Toronto Three men are dead and two men are injured after a shooting at a rented Airbnb in a downtown Toronto condo building on Friday night, police and paramedics say. The shooting happened on an upper floor of a condo on Queens Wharf Road, near Bathurst Street and Fort York Boulevard. Police were called to the scene at 10:21 p.m. for the sound of gunshots, according to Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders.Saunders said two men died of gunshot wounds at the scene, while a third man died in hospital. A fourth person suffered a serious but non-life-threatening gunshot wound. The fifth person sustained a minor cut.

A police officer had no right to enter a condo rented to an Airbnb guest who found a video camera hidden in a clock pointed at the bed , an Ontario judge A small hidden camera was found inside a bathroom at Summerhill Pyramid Winery in Kelowna, B.C., in August 2018. RCMP say a local man is

A police officer had no right to enter a condo rented to an Airbnb guest who found a video camera hidden in a clock pointed at the bed , an Ontario judge He said he believed he was justified in going in at Wallenberg’ s invitation because the Airbnb guest had the key and temporary ownership of the

The case arose in September 2018 when Robert Wallenberg, in town for the Toronto International Film Festival, rented the downtown Airbnb apartment from Chow for 10 days. After discovering the hidden camera, Wallenberg contacted Airbnb, which advised him to go to a hotel and call police.

Court records show Wallenberg let the officer, identified as Const. Lewis, into the apartment and showed him the clock-camera. On advice of a detective, Lewis seized the gadget and placed it in a property locker at the police station. Another officer later inspected the camera briefly, then applied for a warrant to search the device.

After finding stored video of people engaged in various activities in the bedroom, including one man masturbating on the bed and others, including Chow, in various states of undress, police charged the owner with voyeurism.

‘This was not the first time’: Renewed calls for action after 3 shot dead at Toronto Airbnb

  ‘This was not the first time’: Renewed calls for action after 3 shot dead at Toronto Airbnb "It's not safe and far too often it's resulting in tragedies like these," Toronto city councillor Joe Cressy said.According to police, three men were shot and killed at a condo building on Queens Wharf Road at Fort York Boulevard, east of Bathurst Street. Officers were called there just after 10:20 p.m. for reports of gunshots.

A police officer had no right to enter a condo rented to an Airbnb guest who found a video camera hidden in a clock pointed at the bed , an Ontario A judge ruled police violated the rights of an owner of a unit in the building by entering the condo and seizing a secret bedside clock- camera without a

A police officer had no right to enter a condo rented to an Airbnb guest who found a video camera hidden in a clock pointed at the bed , an Ontario 6, 2020. A judge ruled police violated the rights of an owner of a unit in the building by entering the condo and seizing a secret bedside clock- camera

At trial, Chow argued for exclusion of the video evidence on the basis that police violated his rights with the warrantless search and seizure.

Lewis testified he made no attempt to contact Chow before entering the condo. He said he believed he was justified in going in at Wallenberg's invitation because the Airbnb guest had the key and temporary ownership of the unit. He said he seized the device on the advice of the detective to preserve potential evidence.

In his analysis, Bovard said a key issue in deciding whether police had breached Chow's charter right against unreasonable search and seizure was whether the owner had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the condo unit. Bovard concluded Chow did, given evidence that he was the sole owner of the apartment, it was filled with his possessions, and he used it himself at times.

"In these circumstances, Mr. Chow had a subjective expectation of privacy in the apartment," Bovard concluded. "Mr. Chow had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the clock-camera and in the contents of the SD memory card."

The judge also rejected prosecution arguments that by renting out his condo to Wallenberg, Chow had undermined his own privacy expectations.

"Whatever rights Mr. Wallenberg had over the apartment, he could not waive Mr. Chow's privacy rights in the apartment and its contents," Bovard said.

The judge also concluded the officer's suspicion of possible criminal activity did not give him the right to seize the clock-camera or allow police to inspect it without a warrant. Bovard said he realized that excluding the evidence would gut the prosecution's case, but said he had to do so anyway given the cumulative charter violations.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on Feb. 6, 2020.

Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press

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