|In this 2010 G20 file photo, protesters march at Spadina Ave. and Richmond St. W. where they met the riot squad. (MICHAEL PEAKE/Toronto Sun)
TORONTO - Two top-ranking Toronto Police officers facing disciplinary charges arising from orders given to street cops during the G20 pleaded not guilty Thursday.
Supt. Mark Fenton and Insp. Gary Meissner appeared with legal counsel on the first day of a hearing at police headquarters as complainants — some arrested during the G20 in 2010 and at least one representing a family member who was arrested — listened to proceedings.
The brief police tribunal on Thursday, presided over by Staff-Supt. Kimberley Greenwood, was adjourned until Jan. 8, 2013, when a trial date is scheduled to be set.
The tribunal is one of 36 hearings recommended earlier this year by the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, which concluded in a May report that police officers used excessive force and abused power during the summit.
The report detailed more than 300 complaints and analyzed police action at Queen’s Park, The Esplanade, the University of Toronto, and Queen St. and Spadina Ave., where more than 1,000 people were arrested and subjected to “kettling.”
Complainant Dave Steele, 32, who was at the tribunal, said he was arrested at the Novotel hotel and spent 24 hours in detention.
“I think it’s unfortunate that there hasn’t been a public inquiry … and I hope it gets to the larger systemic issues of what actually happened,” he said.
Prosecutor Brian Gover said a pre-trial conference is scheduled for December.