Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Report slams police actions at G20 summit protests

The Ontario office of the Independent Police Review Director was quite critical of police actions during protests at the G20 summit two years back in Toronto..The report claims that police detained people illegally, used excessive force and violated protesters' civil rights.

Among other criticism the report charged that the temporary detention center was poorly designed and operated. Many people who were detained there were detained illegally. More than 1100 people were arrested but most were released without charge. The report noted:"Some police officers ignored basic rights citizens have under the Charter and overstepped their authority when they stopped and searched people arbitrarily and without legal justification,"

The report was also critical of a kettling tactic used downtown that captured many people not even involved in the demonstration. The report said the action was not just unreasonable but unlawful and not necessary. Even one officer noted that the commander seemed a bit maniacal and said "Where are they going to give them a chance to disperse?" one officer asked.

The report made a total of 42 recommendations. The Toronto police received the most criticism. The Review Committee had received 356 complaints about police action. For more see this article.. While watching the demonstrations one particular action that bothered me was police driving peaceful protesters out of an area that had been specifically designated as a place where they could protest.

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