Questions asked by The Hamiltonian of the City:
The questions below are related to the video footage that exists and/or existed that captured the interactions between Clr. Ferguson and Joey Coleman, on the day/evening that the altercation between the two in which Clr. Ferguson pushed Mr. Coleman, occurred:
1. Can you describe for us the retention schedule for video footage, as it pertains to the area and surrounding areas in which this altercation occurred. In other words, how long is video footage ordinarily kept? What happens to video footage that falls outside of that retention period. Is it archived somewhere else? Is it irrecoverably deleted? Does something else happen to it? If so, what?
2. At a point in time, the aforementioned video footage became the subject of concern. When and how did you first learn that the footage was of special interest? Who first directed you to treat it as such?
3. Who had access to the video and who viewed it, to date?
4. At a point in time, the video of that day appears to have been edited. In that context, it appears that the video has been reduced to being a discrete clip of a larger amount of footage.
4a) is it correct that the video footage is an extract of a larger degree of footage that would have existed?
4b) if so, who made the decision to edit down the video, and what parameters or criteria was used to arrive at the extract that survived?
4c) in terms of the editing that was done, was it confined to simply extracting a piece of video from the whole footage, or, in addition, was there pieces of the video that was edited within the extracted portion that survives. In other words, within the piece of video that has been published, were any pieces removed, added, moved or otherwise altered from the original footage?
4d) In examining the video for the purposes of executing the aforementioned editing that occurred, the portion that has not been made available must have been viewed. For any other portions of that whole footage, was there any footage that showed any further altercations between Clr. Ferguson and Mr. Coleman. In particular, was there any other footage that would have showed an additional instance or instances, where Clr., Ferguson layed a hand(.s)on Mr. Coleman?
5. To the city’s belief, we have been told that the remaining footage of that day no longer exists. Can you confirm that it no longer exists and is completely unrecoverable?
6.Is there anything else that you believe should be known about the aforementioned matter, as it pertains to the video footage?
The City's reply:
In searching the City’s computers/hard drive on November 27th, 2015, at the request of the City manager’s office, and in light of the attention around the incident 3 files were found.
1. Incident1.n3r - this is a copy of the video file from the CCTV camera system. It was created at 9:34 am Feb 28, 2014 following direction to retain the file.
2. ND_viewer.exe – this is a simple application used to view the video file. It was placed on this security computer the afternoon before the .n3r file.
3. Incident1.mp4 - this is an mp4 extract of the Incident1.n3r file. It was created at 3:05 pm March 17, 2014. When played, it appears to be identical to the .n3r file, but of slightly poorer quality.
4. The copy Legal Services was provided by Facilities staff is a copy of the attached original made via a cellphone camera, that video copy was then forwarded to our FOI office from Legal Services on March 28, 2014.
I have attached the mp4 file to this email for you to view, (click here to see it) as you can see it is the exact same video as the one released by FOI staff.
3 Staff viewed the original video when it was order retained.
· 2 Security guards
· 1 Supervisor, Facility Services
Rom D’Angelo (Director responsible for facility services) has told the City Manager, that these staff are prepared to sign an affidavit recalling to the best of their knowledge the incident and steps taken and to state they stopped the video where they did as that was the end of the physical incident as they viewed the video.
We did an IT sweep for anything else. All of the remaining possible sources were checked. There is no evidence of a saved video anywhere beyond what was found. This isn’t surprising as all of these security video camera systems store a minimal amount of video on-line. Any videos to be saved must be off-loaded (as was done with the video extraction that occurred here).
So, I believe these are the only video files in existence.
As I have said, the city does not have a video retention policy or overall corporate security protocol. This will be completed as per Council’s direction immediately.
Mike Kirkopoulos B.Sc., M.A.
Director, Corporate Communications & Intergovernmental Affairs
City of Hamilton