TORONTO – A disciplinary hearing is set to begin today for the most senior police officer charged in relation to the mass arrests during the G20 summit in Toronto four years ago.
Supt. David (Mark) Fenton faces a total of five charges of unlawful arrest and discreditable conduct arising out of two “kettling” incidents that occurred over the summit weekend.
The first occurred on Saturday, June 26, 2010, hours after a small group of vandals smashed windows and set police cruisers alight.
Fenton ordered officers to box in protesters in front of a downtown hotel. More than 260 people were arrested and taken to a makeshift prisoner processing centre, which came under severe criticism for its deplorable conditions.
On the Sunday, six minutes after coming on shift, Fenton ordered police to keep scores of people standing for hours at a downtown intersection despite a severe thunderstorm that left them drenched.
Fenton, who repeatedly referred to the protesters as “terrorists” over the summit weekend, has pleaded not guilty. None of the allegations has been proven.
More than 1,000 people were detained over the summit weekend in what is considered the largest mass arrest in Canada’s peacetime history. Most were released without charge.
To date, only two constables of 32 officers charged have been found guilty of discreditable conduct arising out of the G20. Another 14 cases were dismissed, withdrawn or stayed. The rest are ongoing.
One officer was criminally convicted of assault. His disciplinary case is on hold pending an appeal.