Toronto Police to conduct G20 tactics review

Police insist crowd control methods were lawful

Following a barrage of complaints, the Toronto Police Service has announced it will review its practices during the G20 summit to determine if police acted too aggressively towards protesters over the weekend. Police said in a press release the Summit Management After Action Review Team (SMAART) will assess the G20 plans and their execution to improve future operations. Police chief Bill Blair told reporters at a press conference Tuesday morning that the SMAART review will be submitted to the Integrated Security Unit—the umbrella law enforcement group that handled security during the summit and includes members of the RCMP, Ontario Provincial Police and Toronto police—and to himself. More than 900 people were arrested during protests over the weekend, and Blair said he expects about 400 people to be held accountable for criminal acts committed in the city. Protesters, independent journalists and civil liberties groups have criticized the Integrated Security Unit, including their tactics on Sunday evening when they hemmed in 500 people at the intersection of Queen Street West and Spadina Avenue for hours in the pouring rain. Police acknowledged they changed tactics after Saturday’s chaos, in which windows were smashed and some police cruisers set on fire, but they insist their methods were lawful. Amnesty International has called for an independent rather than internal inquiry, and a Facebook group lobbying for a public inquiry reached 11,400 members on Tuesday morning.