"It is completely unacceptable that the constitutional rights of Canadians were treated with such utter disregard. We can and must do better." James Clancy
Ottawa (17 May 2012) - Ontario’s independent police watchdog, the Office of the Independent Police Review Director's (OIPRD), released a scathing systematic review of police conduct during the protests of the G20 in Toronto echoing many of the findings already exposed during hearings held in November 2010. The hearings, organized by the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA), highlighted gross human rights violations conducted by the police.
The OIPRD's report confirms that during the G20 summit two years ago the police violated civil rights, detained people illegally and used excessive force.
It further criticizes the temporary detention centre Toronto police set up for its poor planning, design and operation that saw people detained illegally.
“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 states.
Furthermore, the report found that “numerous police officers used excessive force when arresting individuals and seemed to send a message that violence would be met with violence."
“The reaction created a cycle of escalating responses from both sides.”
Also highlighted is how the public viewed the police reaction.
“It is fair to say the level of force used in controlling the crowds and making arrests at Queen’s Park was higher than anything the general public had witnessed before in Toronto.”
Confirms prior report
In November 2010, the CCLA and NUPGE organized three days of public hearings in Toronto and Montreal to examine police activity during the G20 Summit.
The hearings, Breach of the Peace – G20 Summit: Accountability in Policing and Governance (read the report here), had more than 60 peaceful protestors, journalists, innocent bystanders and others present. They all recounted horrific stories of police violence, threats, mistreatment and unlawful detainment.
"During the hearings we heard shocking stories of police excesses at the G20 Summit,” said James Clancy, NUPGE National President. “In many cases, it seems as if these excesses, which included widespread violations of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, were committed with complete impunity. It is completely unacceptable that the constitutional rights of Canadians were treated with such utter disregard. We can and must do better.”
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE