Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Sentencing for Toronto officer behind mass arrests at G20 to begin

TORONTO -- A sentencing hearing for the highest ranking officer involved in the massive civil liberties breach that stained the chaotic G20 summit six years ago is set to begin Wednesday.

The two-day proceeding for Toronto police Supt. David (Mark) Fenton is expected to hear widely different views on what his sentence should be for discreditable conduct and ordering unlawful arrests.

The prosecution wants him demoted for a year. The officer says a reprimand would be enough or, at most, the loss of five vacation days. Complainants who were "kettled" -- some for hours in a torrential downpour -- want him fired.

Fenton was convicted last August under the Police Services Act of two counts of unlawful arrest and one of discreditable conduct for his actions during the weekend summit in June 2010. The charges related to two incidents of "kettling" in which police in full riot gear trapped scores of people at downtown intersections.

In finding him guilty, the retired judge presiding over the hearing, John Hamilton, said Fenton demonstrated a lack of understanding of the right to protest when he ordered detentions and mass arrests that weekend.

The extreme measures to which the officer resorted, even though he was handed a difficult situation, were unnecessary and unreasonable, Hamilton concluded.  (more...)


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