Earlier today, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association released its interim report on the police actions taken during the G20 summit in Toronto, and surprise, surprise, the security forces get a failing grade.
Here's an excerpt from the report, which is entitled "A Breach of the Peace":
There is no doubt that this weekend presented a very difficult law enforcement scenario. Nevertheless, this does not justify a mass suspension of basic civil rights. It is possible to feel outrage about acts of vandalism and at the same time recognize the importance of maintaining a free and just society committed to freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention and the presumption of innocence. In our view, the existence in Toronto of a cohort of the ‘black block’ does not justify a suspension of democratic rights for people in the city.You can find the full report here.
Over 900 individuals have been arrested. Hundreds have now been released without being charged with any criminal offence. In view of the unprecendent numbers of arrests, there remain very serious questions surrounding the appropriateness of policing tactics. These questions demand answers.
It is the duty of police officers to act with fairness and equanimity toward all citizens in accordance with the law of the country. The presumption of innocence and the protection against arbitrary arrests and detention are at the core of a commitment to justice. In our view, the security for the summit was inadequate because it failed to uphold our constitutional commitments.
Photo by chris.huggins.