June 29, 2012
T.O. cop board excluded from G20 plan
By Ian Robertson, QMI Agency
TORONTO - Toronto's police watchdog agency remained out of the loop -- including abdicating responsibility -- before and during the controversial G20 Summit of world leaders, says a report for its Friday meeting.
With failed oversight and confusion between the RCMP and other police command roles, author John Morden says mistakes also occurred when officers were pulled back as marauders rampaged, then arrested mostly non-violent protesters.
"The board and the Toronto Police Service should not have been excluded from the federal government's decision-making" for the June 25-27, 2010, event, the ex-associate chief justice wrote.
The more than 20,000 police, military and security personnel lacked sufficient time to prepare proper security and practice their training, his report states. Inadequate training to differentiate between aggressive and peaceful protesters during Canada's "largest security operation" resulted in "ineffective policing and excessive use of force," plus a "crippling bottleneck" of temporary holding centre prisoners.
Before the Mounties agreed to guard the fenced "interdiction zone" around Summit headquarters, Toronto Police lacked sufficient officers for both the perimeter and troubled streets, he wrote.
Morden's 38 recommendations include better board leadership and involvement in future plans.
The force "depended entirely on others" for information to map strategies, he noted, adding police "did not engage the board in the planning process."
But he said if city and provincially appointed members had sought sufficient briefings, they could have demanded federal government input.
Board members did not realize the RCMP could "override" Toronto Police decisions, with chairman Alok Mukherjee admitting -- except for knowing leaders would be protected -- "there will likely be protests and demonstrations, I don't believe there was any understanding of the full scope of policing that this would involve," or the nature of the type policing required.
Most of the 1,000 people arrested for civil disobedience had charges withdrawn or dismissed. The last of six anarchy planners was sentenced Tuesday.