Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair expects the violence and destruction to continue throughout the night.
Police, despite many sustaining injuries from having rocks and bottles hurled at them, will continue to patrol overnight, he said during a press conference Saturday night.
“They have been pelted with rocks and bottles, they have been spit upon, and they have been assaulted. They deserve your respect, and they will always have mine,” said Blair.
He confirmed that 75 people have been arrested, many of them leaders of the radical faction engaging in so-called “black block” tactics. He said may of these individuals were known to police.
Some were arrested while trying to change out of their black gear and into civilian clothes, he said.
“There is no sanctuary from responsibility and accountability for their actions,” said Blair.
Blair confirmed that tear gas had been employed for the first time in the city’s history near Queen and Peter Sts., but insisted, despite reports, that no rubber bullets had been fired by police.
He also denied allegations that police had used unjust force on protesters and members of the media.
He warned that curious bystanders are making it difficult for police to do their jobs.
“We are asking people to disperse from those areas so we can restore order,” he said.
The people responsible for the “criminal activity” such as setting police cruisers on fire and damaging property “will be held accountable," said Blair.