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NEWS: Police breached constitutional rights at G20 summit in Toronto, public inquiry needed

The Council of Canadians marching against the G20 in Toronto, June 2010.

The Canadian Press reports, “In his systemic-review report Wednesday, Gerry McNeilly, of the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, blasted police for ‘blindly’ following orders at the G20 that led to the what he called civil-rights abuses, illegal detentions, and the excessive use of force. He also said he had substantiated more than 100 complaints against individual officers and referred them for hearings, which carry maximum penalties of dismissal from the service on conviction. …McNeilly’s report found police breached constitutional rights during the tumultuous event.”

As a result, “Several senior Toronto police officers are likely to face misconduct charges related to the G20 summit two years ago, a source familiar with the situation said Thursday.” To date, 8 Toronto police constables have been charged with G20 related offences. It is now expected that 3 senior police commanders and 28 police officers will also face misconduct charges.

Last night, CBC Radio’s ‘As It Happens’ noted, “Despite two independent reports this week on what went wrong, questions remain about who, ulitimately, was responsible for the mistakes — mistakes that led to hundreds of people being ‘kettled’ in a thunderstorm; to mass arrests; to some being held for hours without access to a lawyer, or sometimes even water or a private toilet. Howard Morton has been watching this week’s developments closely. He’s a lawyer and the former head of Ontario’s special police investigations unit. …(He) says the two reports on the G20 Summit don’t answer key questions, including who was responsible for the human rights violations (and he says that a public inquiry is needed to get these answers).” To listen to that interview, go to http://www.cbc.ca/asithappens/episode/2012/05/17/the-thursday-edition-29/.

The Council of Canadians has repeatedly called for a public inquiry into the G8/G20 summits that took place in Huntsville and Toronto, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=9481.