G20 reports single out police commanders for misconduct

CBC News is reporting that the commanding Toronto police officer who issued the controversial order to “kettle” protesters, bystanders and journalists during the G20 summit two years ago is expected to be charged with misconduct.

The national broadcaster said a copy of the investigative report into police behaviour during the summit, conducted by Ontario’s Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD), was provided to CBC News late Thursday night. The news agency is reporting that 44 other officers are also expected to be charged with misconduct.

The report singles out Supt. Mark Fenton of the Toronto police, who had operational responsibility on the street during the infamous “kettling” incident, in which people were trapped by lines of riot police during a severe rainstorm in downtown Toronto. The 276-page document concludes that the incident violated the detainees’ constitutional right against arbitrary detention, saying that the decision to block them in was “unreasonable, unnecessary and unlawful.”

The OIPRD report added, however, that Fenton shouldn’t bear all the responsibility and that Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair and Deputy Chief Tony Warr should have acted faster to ensure the safety of those boxed in by cops on the street, the Toronto Star reported.

A second report released by the OIPRD focussed on the detention centre in which many of the people arrested during the summit—totalling more than 1,100—were detained. It singled out Supt. Michael Farrar and Staff. Insp. Frank Ruffolo as the officers in charge at the temporary facility, and concluded that “the lack of communication, direction, process and procedure at the PPC speak to the overall command and the inability to address the obstacles and issues that arose during the course of the G20 weekend.”

Farrar and Ruffulo face allegations of discreditable conduct, neglect of duty and unnecessary force.