Canadian Officer Found Guilty for Mass Arrests During G20 Crackdown
The Toronto police officer who orchestrated the mass arrest of over 1,000 peaceful demonstrators and bystanders during the 2010 G20 summit was found guilty on Tuesday of discreditable conduct and unnecessary exercise of authority.
“This decision to order mass arrests demonstrated a lack of understanding of the right to protest,” retired Ontario Superior Court judge John Hamilton said of Supt. Mark Fenton as he handed down the ruling.
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Over the course of the G20 summit weekend, which took place on June 26-27, 2010 in the Canadian province capital, approximately 1,100 were arrested and detained after a group of “Black bloc” demonstrators reportedly broke off from the peaceful rally and began smashing windows along Queen Street.
The Toronto Star reports:
According to various accounts, including one by Canadian author and activist Naomi Klein, demonstrators were attacked by police batons and pepper sprayed before roughly 800 were thrown in jail, where they faced a host of other abuses. The crackdown marked the largest mass arrest in Canada’s peacetime history.
Most of the demonstrators were never charged.
Fenton, who is the only senior official to face a police tribunal over the incident, was found guilty of three of the five charges against him and will be sentenced in December. He faces a possible reprimand or dismissal.
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