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Constable Garrett Styles York Regional Police Service Incident


Incident

On June 28, 2011, Constable Garrett Styles was killed in the line of duty when after initiating a traffic stop he was dragged and pinned beneath the vehicle he had pulled over. Within hours of his death, the radio transmissions Constable Styles made while trapped beneath that vehicle, mortally wounded and clearly in pain and distress, were broadcast and published by the Canadian news media. The Canadian news media obtained these transmissions from audio feed archives from RadioReference's Live Audio Platform.

Reaction

Following this incident, RadioReference received the following letter from Industry Canada:

RadioReference subsequently received this letter from Chief Eric Jolliff, Chief of Police of the York Regional Police Service.

RadioReference sent Chief Eric Jolliff this official response.

RadioReference.com's Response

In summary, RadioReference.com responded directly to Cheif Eric Jolliff conveying the following:

RadioReference.com was dismayed to learn of the events surrounding Constable 
Garrett Styles death and subsequent rebroadcast of his last communications by
the media.  Additionally, RadioReference was appalled to learn that the news 
media made a conscious decision to rebroadcast Constable Style's last 
communications to the general public. 

RadioReference.com did not divulge the contents of York Regional Police 
Service's communications;  RadioReference.com merely provided a broadcast platform that
allows individual contributors and listeners access to live and archived public 
safety communications from around the world, in the same manner that a 
personal scanner or communications receiver would provide.

Additionally, numerous public safety agencies utilize RadioReference.com as
a platform to directly provide their agency's communications to the general 
public, and as such recognize the positive value of additional community 
involvement that their official broadcasts provide.

In response to this incident and the letter from Industry Canada sent to 
RadioReference.com on October 3, 2011, RadioReference.com actively 
communicated to all worldwide feed providers indicating that it is feed 
provider's responsibility to ensure that their broadcasts to our platform complies 
with the laws and regulations in their local jurisdictions.  RadioReference trusts 
that each of their feed providers have evaluated the legality and suitability of 
their broadcasts before deciding to provide a feed to RadioReference.com.

Additionally, RadioReference.com does not have any plans to disallow any feeds
from the platform unless they violate our content guidelines and feed provider 
terms of service.

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