bcholmes: (fascism)

A Toronto police officer convicted of assaulting a protester during the G20 summit has been sentenced to 45 days in prison.

Const. Babak Andalib-Goortani was convicted in September of assault with a weapon for using excessive force during the arrest of a protester on June 26, 2010.

[...]

Andalib-Goortani’s lawyer, Harry Black, had asked for the officer to receive an absolute discharge.

Black said his client had suffered enough already, adding he has post-traumatic stress disorder, his psychological state is fragile and his marriage has fallen apart.

“G20 assault: Babak Andalib-Goortani gets 45-day sentence”, CBC.ca

Mirrored from Under the Beret.

bcholmes: (scary cop lady)

Poor planning by the RCMP, OPP and Toronto police for the G20 summit, along with orders by a Toronto deputy police chief to “take back the streets," are to blame for the more than 1,100 arrests during the 2010 weekend summit, says the province's top civilian police watchdog.

“What occurred over the course of the weekend resulted in the largest mass arrests in Canadian history. These disturbances had a profound impact not only on the citizens of Toronto and Canada generally, but on public confidence in the police as well,” writes Gerry McNeilly, head of the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD), a citizen agency that today tabled the 300- page systemic review report.

Overall, McNeilly says, the G20 was an unprecedented event in the city’s history — one police forces were unprepared for.

- "G20 report slams police for 'excessive' force", CBC.ca

Also: Byron Sonne's trial wrapped up yesterday. Innocent of all charges.

Surprisingly, I do like the question that the National Post raised: "How much planning time does the police need in order to not break the law?"

bcholmes: (scary cop lady)

Newly released G8/G20 summit documents reveal the RCMP and various Ontario police forces spent several months infiltrating anti-war, anti-globalization and anarchist groups with the use of undercover officers ahead of last June's summits in Huntsville and Toronto.

The reports by the Joint Intelligence Group formed by the RCMP-led ISU (Integrated Security Unit) show that various police services contributed at least 12 undercover officers to take part in covert surveillance of potential "criminal extremists" in a bid to "detect ... and disrupt" any threats.

Undercover officers among demonstrators

In addition to the advance surveillance, plainclothes officers, in teams of at least four, were stationed throughout the crowds at the G8/G20 demonstrations as "event monitors" who were required to "provide real time intelligence of demonstration or large gatherings of protesters where there is pre-existing intelligence and/or evidence of violence," according to the ISU documents

These event monitors were also charged with tracking and reporting on the movements of buses, vans and trains carrying protest groups to and from the summits.

"G20/G8 summit opponents infiltrated by police", CBC News

bcholmes: (scary cop lady)

A criminal charge placed against a police officer who is alleged to have assaulted a demonstrator during the G20 Summit in downtown Toronto came as a result of the public standing up for itself, one civil liberties expert said.

Graeme Norton, of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said it is unlikely anything would have come from the incident if other demonstrators had not been there to video tape the arrest of Adam Nobody on June 26.

[...]

On Tuesday, Ontario's Special Investigations Unit announced that a Toronto police office had been charged with assault with a weapon, following the review of video tape of [Adam] Nobody's arrest made available on YouTube.

The arms-length agency had originally ruled that while Nobody appeared to have been roughed up, it was impossible to identify the perpetrator. The charge came after more evidence was presented to the SIU.

"It was only after the public came forward with additional information in the form of video tape and photographic evidence that we have now seen charges being laid," Norton said.

The arrest came after an extended investigation that had originally been closed without any charges being laid.

"G20 officer charge came from public policing: expert", CTV

bcholmes: (scary cop lady)

It was "illegal" and "likely unconstitutional" for Premier Dalton McGuinty’s government to pass a secret regulation that police used to detain people near Toronto’s G20 summit of world leaders last summer, says Ombudsman Andre Marin.

In a scorching 125-page report entitled Caught in the Act, Marin said the measure "should never have been enacted” and “was almost certainly beyond the authority of the government to enact."

"Responsible protesters and civil rights groups who took the trouble to educate themselves about their rights had no way of knowing they were walking into a trap – they were literally caught in the Act; the Public Works Protection Act and its pernicious regulatory offspring," he told reporters.

"Ombudsman charges G20 secret law was ‘illegal’", The Toronto Star

bcholmes: (scary cop lady)

OTTAWA—A parliamentary committee was told Wednesday that a public inquiry is needed into systematic abuse of citizens’ rights by Toronto police before and during the G20 summit.

Mike Leitold, a lawyer with the Law Union of Ontario, said his group’s firsthand work with protestors at the summit shows that what happened in Toronto that weekend was not caused by an overreaction by the police.

“We actually observed a systematic targeting of social justice movements in Canada over the period leading up to the G20 demonstrations and during them and after,” he stated in testimony at the Commons public safety committee.

It amounted to a “systemic repression of critics and those who oppose the policies of this (Conservative) government,” said Leitold, who is part of the Law Union’s Movement Defence Committee. This group provides legal support for “progressive” and “social justice” organizations in Toronto, he told MPs.

He said numerous unanswered questions remain about police conduct at the G20 and said a public inquiry with full powers to subpoena witnesses is required to clear the air.

"Public inquiry into abuse of citizens’ rights at G20 needed, MPs told", The Toronto Star

bcholmes: (fascism)

An Ontario police watchdog is not holding any officers accountable for separate incidents in which it says excessive force was likely used against two civilians at a G20 protest in Toronto.

The province's Special Investigations Unit, which probes police operations where civilians are hurt or killed, on Thursday released the results of its investigation into six complaints of police brutality during last June's G20 summit.

The six men in question all complained that they were injured when law enforcement officers used excessive force against them at various locations across Toronto's downtown on June 26. One man had his arm broken in an interaction with an officer, while another two suffered facial fractures.

"No police charged for civilian G20 injuries: SIU"

bcholmes: (fascism)

In the face of an onslaught of complaints, lawsuits and inquiries, Toronto police Chief Bill Blair on Thursday acknowledged for the first time that he made mistakes that night.

"We probably could have and should have reacted quicker," Chief Blair told The Globe and Mail. "When I became aware of [the ongoing containment], I said, 'That’s it, release them all immediately and unconditionally,' and that was done. But it probably could have happened sooner."

The admission is a new tack for Toronto police. In a news conference soon after the release of the corral, Staff Superintendent Jeff McGuire said of the detainees, "To those people, I cannot apologize to them, and I won’t." He called the situation "unfortunate," but said officers had the right to detain the group.

The confrontation began at around 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 27, after a group of protesters on bikes and on foot, along with a number of bystanders, arrived at the downtown intersection of Queen and Spadina Streets. Within minutes, several flanks of police in heavy riot gear surrounded the crowd from all sides and squeezed them into a contained area, a tactic known as “kettling.” The group of about 250 was contained there for approximately four hours, much of the time in a chilly downpour, as officers pulled detainees one by one out of the crowd for arrest.

Demonstrators who were involved have said the group was peaceful. Numerous bystanders have come forward, claiming they were caught in the corral while out shopping on the popular retail strip or while on their way back to residences in the area.

Chief Blair maintained on Thursday that the decision to box in the crowd of 250 was appropriate, claiming that major incident commanders were concerned for the public’s safety after 60 armed “black-bloc tactic” protesters were apprehended heading to the area.

"Police made mistakes in G20 tactics, chief admits for first time ", The Globe and Mail

bcholmes: (fascism)

Christopher Miller was charged with mischief for writing “Shame on you” in charcoal on a sidewalk at police headquarters.

National Post photographer Brett Grundlock was charged with obstructing police and unlawful assembly while doing his job.

And Robert Gamble was charged with disturbing the peace after he yelled “Arrest the war criminals. Investigate 9/11.”

The Crown dropped all these charges, and more, on Monday as hundreds of people paraded through Ontario Court in the aftermath of the Group of 20 summit protests that rocked downtown Toronto on June 26 and 27, during which some vandals torched police cars and smashed shop windows.

The sheer flimsiness of some of the charges ought to embarrass the Toronto police and other forces that arrested more than 1,000 people, penning them up in wire cages for much of the weekend.

Ultimately only some 300 were charged. And while the 17 alleged ringleaders and others still have a date with the courts, prosecutors were eager to drop or “divert” charges for nearly 100 people if they agreed to contribute to a charity, do community service or sign a peace bond.

This winnowing process reflects well on Ontario Court, and its reluctance to criminalize dissent. But it does nothing to ease concerns about Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s unwisdom in holding the G20 in downtown Toronto, turning it into an armed camp of empty streets. Or Premier Dalton McGuinty’s decision to grant the police enhanced powers of arrest without properly informing the public. Or the police strategy that first let vandals run amok, then cracked down on non-violent protesters.

"Growing case for G20 probe", The Toronto Star

bcholmes: (scary cop lady)

Some stats from last week's G20 session:

  • The "most expensive 3 days in Canadian History"
  • $1-billion security budget
  • 20,000 security personnel
  • 3-metre high and 4-mile long security wall around downtown core
  • G20 agree to cut government deficits in half by 2013

Mass arrests by the numbers:

Of the 1,105 people who were arrested (as of July 6th):

  • 714 people were charged on breach of the peace, were detained by police for up to 24 hours, and were released unconditionally with no charges laid.
  • 263 people were charged with offences and were detained by police for a bail hearing. Most were in court today, August 23rd
  • 113 people were released at the scene with no charge laid.

Among those arrested and facing charges, dozens are facing "conspiracy" charges and all but one have been released on onerous conditions, including: house arrest, a ban on the use of mobile communications devices (including laptops), uploading anything online, mandatory curfews, as well as prohibitions on organizing demonstrations, speaking to the media and association with other activists. It is worth noting that there are still a number of people in prison as a result of G20-related charges (arrests even continue, and these numbers have increased).

bcholmes: (fascism)

Toronto police “are unfit to conduct a review against themselves. They are not equipped to investigate themselves,” Farrah Miranda, a spokeswoman for the activist group G20 Mobilization Network, told the Star on Thursday.

That is the message Doe, the pseudonym of a woman who successfully sued police in 1986 after she was raped, and the others will deliver at their morning news conference and in their report, said Miranda.

“This is the culmination of an 11-year process. Women’s groups are connecting the G20 violence against women with the ongoing police violence against women.”

Allegations of sexual abuse first surfaced as women were being released from the Eastern Ave. detention centre during the June 26-27 weekend that brought world leaders and thousands of demonstrators to Toronto.

Among those making allegations was Amy Miller, who will present a video at the Thursday news conference, Miranda said.

Also speaking will be Alison Peters. “They asked me and other women I was with if we wanted to have sex with them,” Peters said in a news release about the police. “We were told to take our clothes off if we wanted to be taken seriously. . .”

Another detainee, Skylar Radojkovic, said police “told me that I was going to prison, where I would be raped repeatedly. I was strip-searched and called various unprintable names by these officers. The detective pushed me repeatedly into the wall.”

"G20 sexual abuse claims linked to Jane Doe report", Toronto Star

bcholmes: (fascism)

I should probably just stop reading the toronto community on LJ; the comments there make me weep for the city.

But... there's a comment, today, complaining about people making a ruckus after the World Cup final game. And someone joined in saying "Frankly, after all the shit this past month in Toronto. I'm just glad to see a gathering of joyful, celebrating fans vs looting, violent scumbags."

It makes me think: it's like these people have no idea what the atmosphere inside one of these protests is like. You bump into a bunch of your friends; you get to snerk at the zanier fringe elements of the gathering; and laugh at the creative ways that people are expressing their opposition. People gather to express their anger at the system, but I don't find them angry.

bcholmes: (fascism)

Parliament is adjourned for the summer, and the opposition majority – the NDP, Liberals and Bloc – forced the Commons committee on public safety to reconvene on Monday to vote on whether to start federal hearings on the G20 security.

But during a two-hour meeting, Conservative MPs on the committee repeatedly requested speaking time to object to holding an inquiry now, and the Tory chair refused opposition demands for a vote. Opposition MPs together can out-vote the Tories on the committee.

"Tory filibuster seeks to block hearings on G20 policing", The Globe and Mail

bcholmes: (scary cop lady)

It has been said that in war, truth is the first casualty. Yet in the wake of the Toronto G20 summit, it is clear that truth is an unwelcome intruder within the realm of politics as well. Call it my inherent cynicism about politics or maybe put it down to my observation and experience, but the discussion and media coverage surrounding the G20 summit has been ignorant at best, or deliberately misleading at worst.

The facts are clear when the political spin is replaced by reasoned evaluation. The truth is that Dalton McGuinty arbitrarily suspended and abrogated our most sacred civil liberties — our freedoms and privacy — without discussion, debate or public awareness. The premier then justified this abuse of power by asserting that we needed law and order instead.

"Opinion: G20 crackdown reeks of tyranny", Toronto Star

The article is written by a Progressive Conservative MPP, who almost certainly has a horse in Dalton McGuinty's PR race, but I can't really disagree with it at a broad stroke level.

bcholmes: (scary cop lady)

At a hastily convened meeting on Tuesday, the civilian body that oversees Toronto's police approved an independent review of policing during last month's G20 summit.

This is a welcome about-face. Just a week before, despite all the concerns over excessive use of police force and violations of charter rights, the Toronto Police Services Board expressed its "profound appreciation" for the way the police performed their duties.

However, the proposed review of Toronto police actions is still insufficient in scope to get to the bottom of what happened in our city on the G20 weekend. The decision-makers included not just the Toronto police but also their counterparts from the OPP and RCMP and politicians in all three levels of government.

Collectively, they turned our city into an armed camp with empty streets, secretly invoked special police powers, allowed a few hooligans to run amok burning police cruisers and smashing store windows, and then arrested and incarcerated more than a thousand people, the vast majority of them guilty of no crime. Businesses in the downtown area suffered a big drop in sales. Instead of showcasing the city, the event produced damaging images, broadcast around the world. What is needed is a full public inquiry, called by either the province or Ottawa.

Board review of G20 not enough, The Toronto Star

bcholmes: (scary cop lady)

The Toronto police services board has called for an independent civilian review of the way security was handled by police during the G20 summit.

In his recommendation Board Chair Alok Mukherjee suggested an impartial civilian overseer chosen to conduct the review.

The yet-to-be-named independent reviewer will be chosen by the seven member board in time for its July 22 meeting.

That individual will then have about 12 weeks to complete the review with the power to question board and police policy and actions relating to G20 security.

Dozens of people attended Tuesday’s board meeting expecting to have their say, and many shouted out their protests but were told they had to submit written deputations to the board prior to a public forum. That won’t likely be held until sometime following the completion of the independent review.

"Toronto police board orders civilian review of G20 security", The Toronto Star

I don't think much will come of this, but it's a step in the right direction.

G20 Tactics

Jul. 6th, 2010 08:13 am
bcholmes: (fascism)

The 57-year-old Thorold, Ontario resident [John Pruyn] – an employee with Revenue Canada and a part-time farmer who lost a leg above his knee following a farming accident 17 years ago – was sitting on the grass at Queen’s Park with his daughter Sarah and two other young people this June 26, during the G20 summit, where he assumed it would be safe.

As it turned out, it was a bad assumption because in came a line of armoured police, into an area the city had promised would be safe for peaceful demonstrations during the summit. They closed right in on John and his daughter and the two others and ordered them to move. Pruyn tried getting up and he fell, and it was all too slow for the police.

As Sarah began pleading with them to give her father a little time and space to get up because he is an amputee, they began kicking and hitting him. One of the police officers used his knee to press Pruyn’s head down so hard on the ground, said Pruyn in an interview this July 4 with Niagara At Large, that his head was still hurting a week later.

Accusing him of resisting arrest, they pulled his walking sticks away from him, tied his hands behind his back and ripped off his prosthetic leg. Then they told him to get up and hop, and when he said he couldn’t, they dragged him across the pavement, tearing skin off his elbows , with his hands still tied behind his back. His glasses were knocked off as they continued to accuse him of resisting arrest and of being a "spitter," something he said he did not do. They took him to a warehouse and locked him in a steel-mesh cage where his nightmare continued for another 27 hours.

"Thorold, Ontario Amputee Has His Artificial Leg Ripped Off By Police And Is Slammed In Makeshift Cell During G20 Summit – At Least One Ontario MPP Calls The Whole Episode 'Shocking'", Niagara At Large

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