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Canadian cops staked out a bar in the hope of finding a journalist drunk, a court heard today.

The journalist in question, Edmonton newspaper columnist Kerry Diotte, wasn't suspected of involvement in any crime. But Diotte had written a column criticizing the police force's radar and camera technology as being more of a cash cow for the force than an effective measure against road fatalities - and the story enraged the local constabulary.

Diotte has been a consistent critic of the police's technology dependency habit.

Police illegally tapped into the confidential vehicle licensing database to obtain Diotte's details of car and home residence, then staked out the Overtime Bar in Edmonton with three officers.

According to one Edmonton officer, the journalist posed a real threat to the city's burghers.

"It was true that we found that vehicle in a bar lot and the potential for serious harm or death was there," claimed Sergeant Glen Hayden, testifying before a disciplinary hearing.

According to witnesses the journalist took a cab home and was reported to be sober. What kind of journalist is he?

The hearing continues. ®

Related link

Cop targeted Sun writer over column on photo radar, suggests lawyer - Edmonton Sun

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