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Google Photos helps prove man's innocence after assault by police

Smartphones can do a lot but just occasionally, they can have real world benefits as Google Photos Auto Backup proved for this man from Toronto, Canada.

Published onSeptember 24, 2015

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There’s many arguments for automatically backing up your photos and videos to the cloud but most of these are around being able to access them from wherever you are. Just occasionally, the auto backup feature in most services proves to have real world benefits and as a man from Toronto found out, your smartphone can save you a lot of bother.

According to the Toronto Star, which is Canada‘s largest daily newspaper, Abdi Sheik Qasim was arrested by Toronto police for reportedly assaulting a police officer following an exchange at his uncle’s house in January 2014. After the constables established that Qasim was not wanted on any warrants, they refused to leave and instead insisted on entering the apartment. Qasim then took out his phone to record the transaction but Constable Dhaliwal knocked his phone out of his hand.

Qasim was then arrested and charged for assaulting a police officer and failing to comply with a court order and once hauled to the police station, his phone went missing. After being released pending an appearance in court, Qasim still didn’t have his phone but upon his return to his home, he found that Google Photos had automatically backed up the ten second video.

In court, both officers said that Qasim has initiated the hostility by attempting to reach for an officer’s utility belt but upon viewing the video, Ontario Court Justice Edward Kelly cleared Sheik-Qasim of both charges.

“Officer Dhaliwal’s swing of his arm and hand was the very first physical force during the interaction. The accused didn’t grab a hold of the belt of Officer Gul in advance of this action by Officer Dhaliwal. I believe that Officer Dhaliwal’s action amounted to an assault against the accused.”

So there you go guys – just sometimes, your smartphone can save you a lot of headache. As for Google and Google Photos, this kind of publicity can only be a good thing! Do you back up your phone automatically? If so, do you use Google Photos or another service? Let us know your views in the comments below guys and for the whole story, head to the link below.