CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES - Legal rights - Protection against unreasonable search and seizure

Law360 Canada (August 4, 2023, 11:33 AM EDT) -- Trial of Francis, who was charged with unauthorized possession of a restricted weapon in a vehicle, careless storage of a firearm, careless storage of ammunition and possession of a loaded restricted firearm. Francis, a young Black male, was stopped at a routine RIDE spot-check. He was the sole occupant in the vehicle. After passing a roadside Alcohol Screening Device (ASD), Francis was questioned about the strong odour of cannabis emanating from his car. He produced a small packet of cannabis and was advised to pull over for further investigation. A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed a loaded handgun in the pocket of Francis’ jacket which was found on the driver’s seat of the car. Francis was arrested and eventually charged with four firearms-related offences. Francis argued that he was racially profiled by police, who also engaged in an unlawful search, arbitrarily detained him, and failed to appropriately advise him of his right to counsel in violation of sections 7, 8, 9 and 10(b) of the Charter. He sought a stay of proceedings to remedy the racial profiling and, in the alternative, exclusion of the handgun and ammunition, to remedy the various other Charter breaches....
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