The first 15 seconds of a video of Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson shoving Joey Coleman has been released.
By Ryan McGreal
Published November 23, 2015
This article has been updated.
A surveillance video of a February 26, 2014 altercation between Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson and independent journalist Joey Coleman was released this afternoon after an appeal to the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner's office to withhold the video was withdrawn.
You can watch the video here:
The video runs for only 15 seconds and has no audio. It starts with City Communications Manager Mike Kirkopoulos and former Ward 9 Councillor Brad Clark standing together with Ferguson standing about six feet away with someone just starting to walk away from him toward the door at the bottom left of the screen.
Ferguson turns and walks over to Kirkopoulos and Clark as Coleman is walking into the lobby.
Coleman walks up to the group, and immediately Ferguson turns around to his left, leans forward, grabs Coleman's left shoulder with his right hand and pushes him backwards. Coleman's foot slides from the force of the push.
Ferguson starts to move away, and then swings back around and points his finger twice in Coleman's face before the video ends with Ward 2 Councillor Jason Farr walking toward the group.
Coleman notes in a statement posted today on The Public Record that this is only a partial video that misses much of what followed from the initial altercation.
The video shows the beginning of the incident, but ends during the middle of the altercation. As the video ends, Councillor Ferguson is approaching Coleman a second time and Councillor Farr is moving to intervene.
The video does not show Ferguson's second physical grab, Farr's intervention, or Ferguson being removed by other Councillors. Despite there being numerous cameras in the foyer, the City did not preserve video from any of the other cameras.
The day after the incident, Councillor Brad Clark confirmed there were two pushes and a second part to the confrontation.
The video was released with a letter from Lisa Barroso, the Manager of Records and Freedom of Information for the City. Following is the text of the letter:
November 23, 2015
Dear Joey Coleman,
Re: Freedom of Information Request #15-037
This is further to my letter dated June 29, 2015.
Today the City's Freedom of Information Office received written confirmation from the Information & Privacy Commissioner's office that the appeal regarding the above noted request has been withdrawn.
As there is no longer an appeal of the City's decision to release the responsive record, please be advised that a copy of the record (video) is attached.
Manager, Records and Freedom of Information
Update: Councillor Ferguson has issued a news release [PDF] following the release of the partial surveillance video. The news release includes the following:
“The whole incident took approximately five seconds...[sic] five seconds,” Ferguson said, providing a play-by-play commentary of the incident. “You will see for yourself that Mr. Coleman comes up behind me, trying to listen to a private conversation I was having with a staff member. You will see me spot him, point to him to step back, but he comes closer, so I take him by the arm and step him back about four feet. I then walked from the building – nobody ‘dragged me’ out of City Hall.”
The news release makes no mention of what happens after the end of the released video.
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