Arrest/criminal charge

Photojournalist detained while covering encampment clearing in Toronto’s Alexandra Park

City of Toronto corporate security arrested Chris Young, a photojournalist on assignment for the Canadian Press, on July 20, 2021. 

Young was the first journalist to arrive on the scene to cover the eviction of about 30 people living in Alexandra Park, he told the Canadian Press

City staff put up fences to block access to the park later in the morning, but Young told the Canadian Press that it was open when he arrived. 

Young said a police officer who he knew told him he could stay and photograph, but corporate security from the City of Toronto arrived later and told the photographer he had to leave, wrote the Canadian Association of Journalists. Young showed city security his press credentials and told them he needed to be in the park to cover the evictions. 

Security insisted he leave, and Young said city staff and police told him he would be arrested if he didn’t. Young refused. 

“They gave me an option to leave on my own will, which I declined to do because it’s important to have press freedom,” Young told the Canadian Press. “They gave me an option to either leave or be arrested so I chose arrest voluntarily.” 

He was handcuffed by city security and then removed from the park by two police officers before being released with a notice of trespass which banned him from the park for 90 days, preventing him from continuing to cover the evictions.  

Young was the only journalist arrested by city corporate security, but other media workers were barred from accessing the public park during the eviction, reported the Toronto Star