Canadian Teen Arrested After Refusing to Delete Photos from His Film Camera

A 16-year-old aspiring journalist named Jakub Markiewicz was arrested last month at the shopping mall Metropolis at Metrotown, the 2nd largest mall in Canada. After photographing security guards arresting a man, he was unable to comply with multiple demands to delete the photographs he had taken… from a film camera.

British Columbia’s CBC News writes,

Markiewicz said the guards quickly turned on him, demanding he delete the photo, which he couldn’t do because he was shooting on a film camera. Markiewicz said he turned to leave the mall and then snapped a second shot as RCMP arrived.

He said the security guards held him, attempting to grab his camera, and he was pushed to the ground. He said he then tried to use his body to protect two cameras he carried in his bag [...] He admits he started swearing and was then handcuffed by police and taken outside the mall to an RCMP cruiser by the officers and mall security. Markiewicz said the guards again demanded he delete the photos and he told them once more he couldn’t.

Markiewicz was eventually released without charges after being arrested for causing a disturbance, but has been blacklisted from the mall for half a year.

Lawyers say that security guards have no right to seize cameras and/or demand that photographs be deleted, even if they were shot on private property.

Teen arrested after photographing B.C. mall takedown [CBC News]

Update: Markiewicz has emailed us demanding that the photo originally included in this article be taken down. The photographs can still be seen in the embedded video.

Thanks for sending in the tip, Wayneson!


    So let’s see if I shoot film, I will be banned from a shopping mall. Sounds like a good deal to me.

  • harumph

    Security guards don’t even have the power to arrest anyone. They also don’t have the right to attack you except in self-defense. The search of his backpack (by cutting it off his back with a utility knife!?) was also illegal. Of course nothing will happen to these idiots.

  • OSAM

    Shopping mall = private property. Don’t shoot unless you know you’ve got the right to. Bad photographer.

  • val escobar

    Obviously the guards, have failed police standards, have been watch our mall cop movies, way too much. lAnd they wonder, or not, why us Yanks always make fun of the Canucks?

  • harumph

    Even on private property, all they can do is ask you not to shoot. And then they can ask you to leave if you keep shooting. That’s it. I suppose you get a permit every time you take a picture in a privately owned area?

  • guest

    so all those perverts who take photos of little girls’ skirts in shopping malls–they can be arrested?

  • harumph

    Of course they can be arrested. But the charge is some sort of obscenity charge, and has nothing to do with whether or not the offense occurs on private property or not.

  • jdm8

    Even regular police aren’t necessarily very swift, rent-a-cops are people that wanted to be police but were rejected.

  • Dave

    Could, it be, the, overuse, of, commas?

  • Andrew Ferguson

    Just a clarifying note: The search of his backpack was conducted by the RCMP, not the security guards. Legality of search when responding to a disturbance is a bit more gray area, but I’d say it’s likely unfortunately legal. Requires further details/research.

    That said, Metrotown security’s behaviour is appalling and RCMP’s behaviour is almost as bad in this incident.

  • ninpou_kobanashi

    Be nice, some folks use ESL.

  • Madgardener

    As a “yank”, this clown scares me. We have the same problems here with overzealous cops who think they can arrest someone for taking pictures. The fact that this happens in Canada saddens me because I always think of Canadians as more civilized than most of us in the U.S.

  • Andrew

    If there is a sign up saying that photography is not permitted on their private property, then it is morally and legally wrong to shoot. They should then be able to ask you to leave, or even destroy images, in my opinion. If there is no sign up so you had no warning, then I think what you said is reasonable.

  • David

    True. I took a PJ class in college and shopping malls were on the short list of locations not to shoot. This still wouldn’t justify the described behavior.

  • harumph

    Even police officers aren’t allowed to destroy images, let alone security guards. Photographers should know their rights. Don’t let anyone bully you into deleting your shots. The law is clear on this.

  • OW EN F

    If there is a sign up saying that photography is not permitted on their private property, then it is an incitement to do so profusely.

  • Trausti Hraunfjörð

    So the fascism has spread into Canada from their southern neighbour.

    I knew that would eventually happen if the people of America would not stand up against the ever growing fascism in America. They never stood up, only allowed things to get worse, now it is beyond the point of no return.

  • JC

    Let me sum it up for you.

    Min wage security guards with no future taking their aggression out on a photographer.

  • haha

    If the photograph constitutes a threat to my person? if it gets published on the internet and i rightfully ask that it not get published in any way. Do i the one who is photographed have the right to privacy.
    for example somebody gets knifed in my neighboughoud and some photographer clandestinely takes a photograph of me being questioned by police just outside my door at midnight. He is a cbc photographer. So this is found out by the guy who knifed the guy and he threatens to beat me up because a reporter published a photograph of me talking to police about him knifing another guy
    so now my whole family is threatened beacuse some photographer takes a picture of me talking to police outside my house.
    Who is responsible. As long as i asked for my picture not to be published is this not a resonable request? Does my life have to be threatened because some asshole takes a compromising picture of me with a policeman?
    Next time i shall get the name and address of the photographer taking the picture and send the guy who feels threatened after the photographer

  • Richard Ford

    Sue them into oblivion. I’ll put up some cash for a lawyer… Is this friggin North Korea?

  • dikaiosune01

    You are getting off topic. Although the confusion is quite understandable. To claify…
    - taking photos is not an offense in a public space. Even if it is an embrassing photo of someone assulting another or picking someone’s nose. (The laws in quebec is a little different.)
    2. there are a lot of different rules and laws that controls what pictures can be published or not. (You are talking about this. The newspaper is only talking about 1. Both topics deserves fair discussion)

    therefore the photographer is free to take pictures but he has to be careful how they are used. Lest he opens himself up to being sued.

  • max

    Might be an idea to read up on what security can and cannot arrest for. If you are seen committing an indictable offense by a security officer acting on behalf of the property owner, s/he can arrest you. Heck, s/he can even chase you off property to enact the arrest.

  • harumph

    What you’re describing is known as a citizen’s arrest, which means that a security guard has the same right to arrest that anyone does. If I were to attack and detain someone under the pretense of “citizen’s arrest,” I would likely be charged with assault. These guards are just as personally liable as I am under the law.

  • Raoul

    Why is it assumed that all security guards are of some despicable character and the photographer in question is some angelic individual. Laws of averages say there as many asshole photographers as there are security guards. You’re only hearing one biased point of view in this story. Good reporting would get both sides of the story. I would be the first person to defend a photographers rights but if you asked to stop taking pictures and starting becoming belligerent the maybe you get what you deserve. Antagonizing already stressed people is never a smart idea.

  • mhall46184

    Try not to use a real camera in such situations; make lots of shots using a pocket camera or a ‘phone without appearing to do so.
    The exchanges about the authority of security guards were mostly unhelpful; check the laws — not the water-cooler / ‘net gossip — of your state or province.

  • mew

    In what state or province are the laws any different than what’s been described by the posters above? It looks to me like the photographer’s civil rights (and the authority of security guards) is consistent throughout the U.S. and Canada. You’re doubting the reliability of the information here without providing any evidence at all that any of the “net gossip” is incorrect.

  • mew

    It doesn’t really matter who was the biggest asshole in this case. All that matters is the law and the photographer’s civil rights.

  • the truth


  • Arcelio Martinez


  • Mike

    You can ask for the picture of you not to be published, but it is completely up to the photographer. You do not own the rights to a photograph of yourself. If you are uncomfortable with being photographed, stay indoors and avoid all the CCTV cameras while you’re at it. I find it laughable that we are completely surrounded by surveillance and cel phone cameras and people are concerned about a kid with a film camera.

  • Tom

    This is a blog. If you want the full story, read the CBC article where the mall representatives are allowed to express their opinion.

  • Mike

    Your opinion is not the law. They can ask you to not take photos and can then ask you to leave. If you will not leave, they can call the police who can escort you off the premises and possibly arrest you for trespassing. Neither can destroy your images however. They constitute your property and to destroy them would be against the law.

  • Nick

    You seem overly concerned. Are you worried you will be arrested?

  • Nick

    Says, a, guy, named, “val escobar,” with, bad, grammar…..

  • Shadow Girl

    Lol. This story is defending the kid and the kid demanded “that the photo originally included in this article be taken down.” ? Strange…
    Anyways… the security guards and the cops were wrong. People need to fight for their rights to take photographs. I hope the kid sues.

  • Shadow Girl

    Yeah… citizen’s arrest, but!!.. for what? They have no legal reason to arrest the kid.

  • Michael Zhang

    Markiewicz demanded that we either take down the low-res photo or pay him.

  • JCB

    Yes, we are banning you from the mall, meaning you will not be spending money here so we will be the losers. A decision as stupid as the action of the security guards,who at least have the excuse of being employed for their stupidity.

  • STP

    I wouldn’t jump to any conclusions. We all know how teenagers can have big attitudes and big mouths. With hormones skyrocketing they turn emotional and quickly seem aggressive. I don’t endorse the behavior of the security guards or the Police. I however don’t just take his word as an official account of the events.

  • Niels Bo Nielsen

    As a photographer i have had a some trouble with security guards myself. Nothing violent. But i was photographing a store in a mall the day before the grand opening. My boss went to the bathroom, and din’t come back for some time. When i went looking for him, I was stopped by a security guard. He wanted to escort me off the property, I said i wouldn’t leave without the camera (a hasselblad). I called my boss he had allready been detained and was in the basement clearing up the situation. I toke the guard to the chain store manager. When the situation was explained to the guard he started yelling at the store manager for not telling him that we were coming.

    I have also had a lot of annoying little moments were security guards interrupt a session saying” stop taking pictures it is not allowed” i often reply: “here a mail from your boss hiring me to take photos.”

    in general security guards aren’t the brightest people in the world and nobody tells them anything. This is why these situations occur.

    I hope this guy sues at least i the hopes of clearing up the law. There a lot of this going on right now. Everybody needs to understand that photography is not a crime.

  • Matthew Wagg

    Wow you’re right, he’s got some fantastic images.

  • Matthew Wagg

    Well that’s good. :) How many times have you guys reported others suing over usage? He’s doing a good thing there

  • David

    Any time you press the shutter button and take a photo, that images copyright is automatically yours, and that image is your personal property. Nobody can demand you delete it, and for someone to delete it without your permission is destruction of property, therefore an offense.

    On public land nobody can prevent you from taking photos of anything publicly viewable, be that a person, building or anything else.
    On private property the landowner (or appropriate deputee) can ask that you not take photos whilst on their property, and should you do that they can escort you from the premises, but they cannot destroy any photos taken already.

    This of course is only for private non-commercial work. Should you wish to use an image commercially you would then need to comply with additional rules such as having the permission of people featuring in the images, deal with the reproduction of any trademark images within your photograph and so on.

    In this case the security should have asked the photographer to stop shooting, and if he continue then escort him from the premises. At no point should they have asked that the images be destroyed.

  • guest

    you see crap like that all the time, but no one ever does anything about it. I mean not necessarily little girls, but creeps taking cell phone picks of a girl walking in front of them.

  • Gerry King

    The public need to turn on these security guards and basically batter them.

  • Stephen Shoihet

    This is correct, I believe the police also require a court order to seize any photos that were taken. Although it appears the security guards were acting outside of what the law allows, the photographer was also not being very smart if they told him to stop and he didn’t. It’s one thing to exercise your rights, it’s another to cause problems by not listening to what you’re told.

    As you noted, although the mall is a public place, it is privately owned and they can tell you not to take photos. They cannot seize any that you have already taken or demand you delete them. They may ask you to leave. If you refuse, you may be detained and arrested.

  • John KingofthePaupers Turmel

    Jct: I didn’t know “refusing to delete” a picture was a crime under the Criminal Code of Canada. Bet it’s not and they twisted some other law to suit the purpose, maybe interfering with police in their duty to not be photographed? This should be one fun case when the charge is dropped considering security assaulted him in public. Of course, with the lousy judges we have in Canada, they might find him guilty.

  • AngryDude

    Yup. Totally agree here. You are using his images to generate views to your website and therefore revenue.

    Nothing wrong with what he did here

  • Shadow Girl

    Ouch! Well I think he didn’t need to demand payment when you were on his side!!! Trying to help him… by reporting what happened to him. The least he could do is allow you to use his low-resolution photo for free. It was no piece of art, that’s for sure.

  • Peter “Pots”

    Why do these stories always elicit such emotion and rudeness ???? Come on. folks, this is not such an unusual topic that requires that much heat or lawyer-ness! It is interesting that this sort of thing happens everywhere!