Toronto cops hospitalize hotel guest who recorded them arresting another guest

A man staying at Toronto's Sheraton Centre Hotel used his Blackberry to video-record police who were arresting another guest. The police objected and several of them piled onto him, beating him savagely while screaming "Stop resisting! Stop resisting!" They broke two of his ribs. The whole thing was captured on the man's phone and on hotel CCTV. He's suing.

After being notified this month of the arrest and injuries by Andrus’s lawyer Barry Swadron, the province’s Special Investigations Unit is also now looking into the arrest. The unit probes police incidents that result in serious injury or death.

With smartphones everywhere, police should be getting used to the fact that citizens are going to record police operations, says Swadron.

“On the one hand, the police are frequently seeking images from surveillance cameras and personal recording devices in an effort to uncover illegal activities,” Swadron said in an emailed statement to the Star. “On the other hand, the police do not seem to look kindly when someone is recording the conduct of police officers.

St. Catharines resident Karl Andrus is arrested on Aug. 29, 2012, by Toronto police while filming arrests of fellow Sheraton Centre Hotel guests. Andrus, 35, is suing police, alleging his rights were breached. Andrus begins filming at the 1:10 mark.

In an interview with the Star, Andrus, a 35-year-old dispatcher for an IT company with no criminal record, said he had been out for a couple of drinks at a bar across the street from the hotel late on the night of Aug. 29, 2012.

Exclusive: Toronto police arrest man, take phone after attempt to film takedown at Sheraton [Jim Rankin/Toronto Star]