The Public Policing of the Toronto G20 2010 Summit

Posted: October 2, 2011 by sharonbadyal2011 in Toronto G20 2010
Tags: , , ,

The public order policing of the Toronto G20 2010 Summit involved massive civilian arrests, excessive use of force, and the alleged use of  Agent provocateurs in the protest against the meeting. Click here for more on agent provocateurs. The participants in the formal Toronto G20 2010 meeting were mainly heads of government. The summit, which  focused on global finance and economics, took place in Toronto, Ontario during June 26 to 27 2010. Six leaders of invited nations and eight intergovernmental organizations participated in the summit. . Many people who had been staging peaceful protests against Toronto G20 2010 summit,  were arrested. During the summit, a group of anarchists broke away from the non-violent protests around the Toronto conference center and began to smash windows of banks and chain stores. They also set fire to police cars. The anarchists had covered their faces and used litter bins, poles and bricks to smash windows of stores and banks. There was footage of anarchists looting and threatening photographers.

There was lot of controversy against the police tactics that were used against the anarchists. For example, in a broadcast live in Toronto, it was televised that an officer in riot gear striking an unarmed protester several times during the standoff between protesters and the police. Steve Paikin, who presents TV Ontario’s  current show Agenda, saw an assault on another journalist. Steve Paikin quoted, “As I was escorted away from the demonstration, I saw two officers hold a journalist. A third punched him in the stomach. The man  collapsed. Then the third officer drove his elbow into the mans back.”

A Washington, D.C. woman was thrown to the grown and dragged three meters by uniformed officers into an unmarked minivan. She was forced to lie on her stomach in the van and an police officer sat on top of her during the drive to the police station. G20 Toronto Summit 2010 Protest

Over 1100 protesters were arrested during the G20 protest in Toronto 2010.  This represents a largest mass of arrests in Canadian history. Many of the protesters rights were violated: s.10 (b) right to access to legal counsel without delay, s. 12 the right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment or treatment: they were deprived of food and water, and without access to proper sanitation.

Many of the police officers deliberately removed their name tags and badge numbers. This is against police regulations, its been said that it was authorized by superiors, to avoid police accountability for their behavior at the protest.

There was one police officer who had allegedly assaulted a demonstrator, and was charged with assault with a weapon. The police officer was caught on video and punching the protester. The Chief of Police claims that the video was tampered with and the police officer was arresting a violent armed offender. There were several videos that were sent to the police, observing  other officers using excessive use of force to apprehend the protesters. But nothing was ever done about it, the investigation was quickly dismissed.

As I searched the Google for G20 Toronto public policing 2010, lot of newspaper articles, you-tube videos, and Wikipedia had shown up on their first page. In addition, these are the articles that I have used for my blog. A long article on Wikipedia explained the situation of the G20 Toronto 2010 Summit, what it is about, the history behind it, preparations, criticisms, and protests. Another article on Wikipedia was solely focused on the protests against the G20 Summit. It briefly explained the situation before the protests happened, the main protests that happened on June 26-27th 2010, and the aftermath.

I believe the picture that emerges from the first hit of pages is that it shows the protests views against police brutality. It doesn’t explain the both sides of the story. I think the first pages is completely biased and completely criticizing the police without them explaining their side. When someone is going to look at the first pages, they will believe that the police initiated the riot. However, the police does have to take accountability for their actions and step up to public’s eye, and admit they were wrong. The media is a huge influence on the public’s opinion and the journalists usually take things out of context. I believe that the police did go out of control, but I believe the media is biased and misinterprets situations that police have to deal with. Media doesn’t look through the police officers eyes, how they can be frustrated with the criminal justice system when criminals get off because of their rights, and how the police don’t follow proper procedures. I feel that the police is always the ones that are being blamed in every situation.

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agent_provocateur

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/anarchist

http://www.thestar.com/news/torontog20summit/article/902236–toronto-journalist-witnessed-police-brutality-at-toronto-g20

http://news.aol.ca/2010/06/26/g20-protest-turns-violent-in-toronto/

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Canada/20101222/g20-police-charge-101222/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_G-20_Toronto_summit

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_G-20_Toronto_summit_protests

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Comments
  1. Mike Larsen says:

    This is an interesting first post on the topic.

    A few points of interest for future writing on this topic:

    First, it is important to clarify your terms and the sequence of events associated with the policing of the G20 protests. For one thing, the instances of police brutality and the mass arrests of demonstrators were not confined to the policing of alleged ‘anarchists’. Large groups of nonviolent protesters were also targeted. The Ontario Ombudsman’s ‘Caught in the Act’ report provides a good overview of the events.

    Second, while it is absolutely reasonable to point to the absence of police accounts in the articles you turned up, this part of your post:

    “The media is a huge influence on the public’s opinion and the journalists usually take things out of context. I believe that the police did go out of control, but I believe the media is biased and misinterprets situations that police have to deal with. Media doesn’t look through the police officers eyes, how they can be frustrated with the criminal justice system when criminals get off because of their rights, and how the police don’t follow proper procedures.”

    contains several claims that you will need to substantiate with reference to supporting evidence. (1) In what way is the media coverage that you encountered ‘out of context’ or a misinterpretation of events? (2) How is the possibility that police officers might be frustrated with the criminal justice system (and specifically due process) related to the events at the G20, or to the media coverage of those events? (3) Is the ‘official’ side of the story of the G20 being overlooked, as you suggest? Police officials made many prepared statements during and after the events, but the G20 left a wide range of unanswered questions. A variety of groups have sought answers to these questions, and accountability from the police. Does criticizing police actions and calling for accountability represent ‘anti-police bias’? Or, is it possible to support an institution like the public police *and* criticize its actions *and* seek accountability and reform?

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