Special Report: Integrity Commissioner

City Releases Higher-Resolution Version of Ferguson-Coleman Video

The City has released a higher-resolution, non-edited version of the February 23, 2014 video recording of Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson shoving journalist Joey Coleman.

By Ryan McGreal
Published November 30, 2015

On November 23, 2015, the City released a 15-second surveillance video of the February 26, 2014 incident in which Ancaster Councillor Lloyd Ferguson shoved journalist Joey Coleman in the lobby of the City Hall Council Chamber.

The video was widely criticized for starting and stopping abruptly without any surrounding footage for context, and debate erupted among witnesses to the incident as to whether the altercation continued past the end of the recording.

But there was another problem with the video: it had clearly been edited some time after it was recorded. The video file metadata indicated that the video was edited on June 19, 2015, around the time it was submitted to the Ontario Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) when Ferguson appealed its public release.

The video was also very low quality and there were panning and zooming effects that were not made by the original surveillance camera, which is stationary.

The City has now released another version of the video and claims that this is the original. You can watch the video here:

Hamilton Spectator columnist Andrew Dreschel reported today that a facility services supervisor with the City made a copy of the video using a cellphone camera and submitted that copy to the IPC Office.

There are some obvious differences between the two versions of the video:

This version of the recording also has another important difference. In a news release issued as the video was being released on November 23, Ferguson accused Coleman of "trying to listen to a private conversation I was having with a staff member."

However, this version of the video makes it a lot more clear that Ferguson turned around and shoved Coleman as soon as Coleman walked up to City Communications manager Mike Kirkopoulos and former Ward 9 Councillor Brad Clark. Coleman did not actually have time to drop any eaves before Ferguson turned on him.

And as Clark pointed out in an interview that was aired as part of a two-hour documentary called The Push, if someone wants to have a "private conversation", they should not have it in the public lobby of the seat of local democratic government.

Unfortunately, this version of the video still cuts off at the same spot, and the City is saying that it is unlikely anything beyond that point will be recoverable.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan wrote a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. His articles have also been published in The Walrus, HuffPost and Behind the Numbers. He maintains a personal website, has been known to share passing thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and posts the occasional cat photo on Instagram.


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By Clarissa (anonymous) | Posted November 30, 2015 at 16:11:41

I'd love to be able to slow it down even further. Any ideas how? It looks to me like Jason Farr turned around just before and was approaching at the exact same time as Ferguson shoved Joey.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted November 30, 2015 at 16:43:00 in reply to Comment 115240

Youtube allows you to slow it down. Click on the gear in the bottom-right, then go into "speed" and you can slow it down from there. I had it at .5 and it looked to be "normal" speed.

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By Clarissa (anonymous) | Posted November 30, 2015 at 17:46:34 in reply to Comment 115241

Thanks for trying to help. I don't get a speed option. Just quality and Autoplay. Must be an older version of software I'm using, but thank you anyways!

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By Rimshot (anonymous) | Posted November 30, 2015 at 20:13:59

Along with the "Yakety Sax" mashup we may get the two-hour Push mastercut, featuring City Hall's 15-second video looped 480 times.

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By JasonL (registered) | Posted November 30, 2015 at 22:11:15

I kinda liked the first version. It was like watching another Oceans 11 movie

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted December 01, 2015 at 14:29:26 in reply to Comment 115242

Could be. I was using Google Chrome. It might be an 'enhanced' feature since Youtube is owned by Google now...

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