Quebec City officer accused of assault asks to exclude from evidence videos of interventions

Jacob Picard, middle, appears in court on Oct. 19, 2022.   (Radio-Canada Archives - image credit)
Jacob Picard, middle, appears in court on Oct. 19, 2022. (Radio-Canada Archives - image credit)

A Quebec police officer charged with assault plans to challenge the use of videos of his interventions as evidence.

Jacob Picard's lawyer made the announcement during a hearing to prepare for the upcoming trials.

The 27-year-old officer is facing two separate trials for two events that occurred in the fall of 2021 while he was a member of the police service's defunct GRIPP squad, which was tasked to monitor the city's bars.

In October, Picard was filmed violently pushing a client of the District Saint-Joseph restaurant and bar against a wall. A surveillance camera of the establishment captured the incident.

The following month, during an intervention near Grande Allée Street, Picard was filmed threatening a man with pepper spray before pushing him into a police car.

A video published on social media of the incident shouldn't be admissible evidence, says Picard's lawyer, Maxime Roy.

Roy questions the origin of the video published by an anonymous user. If the video is accepted by the judge, Roy believes that its content should hold little weight in the evidence.

He is making the same argument for the District Saint-Joseph video, although he isn't challenging its validity.

District Saint-Joseph
District Saint-Joseph

He is counting on the testimony of an expert to enlighten the court on the perception resulting from the viewing of the images.

Picard's lawyer, who wasn't present at the hearing, also said his client will testify at the two trials.

Roy says they are not denying the use of force in the interventions; they're arguing that it was authorized within the framework of the officer enforcing the law.

Several witnesses have been announced for the trials, which should last two weeks each, but the dates have not been set.

Pending the outcome of the legal process, Picard is assigned to administrative duties.