Woman Arrested for Instagramming Street Art
Montreal, Canada – 20 Year old Jennifer Pawluck was arrested this past Wednesday, she is accused of criminal harassment and intimidation, after posting a picture of anti-police graffiti online, last month.
“Concerning Jennifer Panda (001) 1. ” Between March 29, 2013 and March 30, 2013, in Montréal, district of Montréal, acted on Ian LAFRENIERE with intent to harass him or without worrying that he feels harassed, assuming an act prohibited by paragraph 264 (2) of the Criminal Code, which make him reasonably fear for his safety or that of one of his acquaintances(, thereby committing the offence on the summary conviction under section 264 (1) (3) (b) the Criminal Code.
Criminal harassment – Criminal Code of Canada
264. (1) No person shall, without lawful authority and knowing that another person is harassed or recklessly as to whether the other person is harassed, engage in conduct referred to in subsection (2) that causes that other person reasonably, in all the circumstances, to fear for their safety or the safety of anyone known to them.
The allegation is tied to a photo she posted to the social media site Instagram depicting a drawing of Montreal police Cmdr. Ian Lafrenière.
The image, which Pawluck photographed about a week ago after spotting it on a brick wall in Montreal’s Hochelaga-Maisonneuve neighbourhood, shows the police commander with a bullet hole in his forehead. His name is also written beside the image. The graffiti has since been removed.
Commander Lafrenière is the head of the service’s communications division and frequently appeared in the media during the student protests.
Police spokesman Const. Danny Richer said the concern extends beyond just the posting of the photo, but said he could not go into further details. “There are circumstances that surrounded the publication of this image, circumstances that we can’t reveal because it is still under investigation,” he said.
Pawluck said the post on Instagram was not intended to be threatening and she’s never contacted Lafrenière directly. An ardent supporter of the student movement, Pawluck has been taken into custody before as part of mass arrests during demonstrations.
Pawluck insists that she’s done nothing wrong and the actions of the Montreal police amount to harassment.
Montreal criminal defence attorney Eric Sutton says the Crown will have to prove that Lafrenière reasonably feared for his safety because of the photo posted by Pawluck. Sutton thinks Pawluck’s arrest is about trying to send a message to the public. “I think this may be somewhat of a political statement by the police that they have zero tolerance for anything that’s seen as threatening to their image.”
Pawluck is due in court April 17.
Service de police de la Ville de Montreal – (Montreal PD) 514-280-2121
Public Prosecution Service of Canada
Sylvie Boileau Acting Chief Federal Prosecutor 514-283-2935
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