Toronto police officer cleared of misconduct for detaining cyclist during G20 - Macleans.ca
 

Toronto police officer cleared of misconduct for detaining cyclist during G20


 

TORONTO – A Toronto police officer has been cleared on a misconduct charge arising from the detention of a cyclist during the weekend of the tumultuous G20 summit in June 2010.

A Police Services Act disciplinary hearing officer found Const. Ryan Simpson acted reasonably and legally in stopping, handcuffing, searching and placing Nicholas Wright in the back of a cruiser.

The ruling released Friday says Wright matched the description of people who had broken windows and set fires during protests the previous day.

It also notes that Wright was carrying a metal container in his backpack, and calls the use of handcuffs reasonable until the backpack was searched.

The decision says Wright, who was released after about 19 minutes, was detained but not placed under arrest while the backpack was searched.

Wright says the decision is one more example of the failure to hold politicians and police responsible for what he terms “widespread unconstitutional mass arrests” carried out during the G20 summit.

“The finding that the offending officer did not in fact carry out an arrest defies common sense,” he said in a statement.

“It is my view that the law has not been properly applied and I intend to seek to appeal this decision,” Wright said.

“The officer in question admitted on cross examination that he arrested three others earlier the same day for wearing backpacks and neck scarves and that two superiors officers directed him to arrest all those dressed in a similar manner,” Wright noted.

Wright’s detention occurred on June 27, 2010 — a day after mayhem erupted in downtown Toronto when vandals mixed up with protesters went on a rampage.

Simpson maintained he stopped Wright for cycling fast between lanes of traffic. He said he then noted the rider had a neck scarf and swim goggles around his neck, was wearing a backpack, and a large group of cyclists was nearby.


 
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Toronto police officer cleared of misconduct for detaining cyclist during G20

  1. “I wuz only following orders.” PC Simpson. We deserve to have the full list of “orders” that the G20 police were under that weekend. Was there one about taking bystanders to ground and putting heads under your knee, for example?

  2. We’ve definitely passed through the looking-glass on this one, into a world where you can be “detained” without being “arrested”, and where the police are justified in mistreating people because they are dressed like people who were given license to commit crimes on the previous day.

  3. It’s not some guy losing 20 minutes that’s a problem, it’s rioters wreaking havoc and destruction that’s a problem.

    • Congratulations on buying into the police narrative. The rioters were left alone to wreak their havoc — no police intervention whatsoever. This gave Blair and his minions an excuse to “take back the streets” the following day, making hundreds of arbitrary arrests and throwing people into cages just because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. The message was clear: lawful assembly will not be tolerated in Toronto. But of course they depended on apologists like you who say we must all give up our civil liberties because of a few wrongdoers.

      • Nobody’s ‘civil liberties’ are being given up when the police are free to do their jobs and where troublemakers fear to tread.

        There is no possible excuse for the rioting and destruction, whether you believe the police had the resources to arrest all of them or not.

        • Who’s trying to excuse the rioters? And why do you put civil liberties in quotation marks? Do you believe the police have the right to make random arrests because crimes have been committed? Because apparently they do, as did the judge in this case, which is frightening.

          • This case did not involve an arrest, as the judge was able to see as well.

            And in a riot situation where deliberate criminality is being indulged then anyone who remains in the area should indeed be arrested, and their culpability (or not) ascertained over the subsequent few days before releasing any of them.

          • There’s no reasoning with someone who refuses to accept the facts. This arrest — which it was, as the man was forcibly detained — took place on the day following the riots. As I said at the beginning, you’ve bought into the police story. They allowed rioting to take place on Saturday so they could have carte blanche to make mass arrests on Sunday. That we’ve allowed them to get away with it is a national shame.

          • You can invent all the stories you want, but the police should have been making real arrests all along, arrests where you get to spend time in gaol.

            Whining about their looking for miscreants the next day is pointless. And if they did pick up the pace on arresting, or even merely detaining people briefly, then all the better.

  4. Number one job of cops is to protect government. Only reason they can get fired is for harming government. Every other transgression will be overlooked and white washed if they are good government soldiers.