Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Shield of Secrecy Protecting Toronto G20 Police Still Exists

Although two years overdue, the abuses of Charter Rights and police brutality that occurred in Toronto during the June 2010 G20 Summit are finally being recognized for what they were; this can't help but be a source of satisfaction to many. The comprehensive report by the Office of the Independent Police Review Director has at least started us down the road to long-overdue justice. However, not all is yet well.

The report's apparently comprehensive nature stands in sharp contrast to the tactics of the never-say-sorry Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, who has consistently temporized and qualified his comments to the point that were he the only source of information about the shameful and criminal acts committed by Toronto's finest, one would believe that an exemplary job had been done by all. However, it seems he is not the only one concealing the truth from the public.

A Star exclusive reports today that a G20 senior commander, Toronto police Insp. Gary Meissner, is facing disciplinary action for ordering the early-morning raid and unlawful mass arrests at the University of Toronto, an event that many will recall as a stark reminder of the fragility of our Charter rights.

Based on deductions befitting Inspector Gadget, Meissner concluded that a group of 100 people, mainly students from Quebec being billeted at a U of T gym, was shielding some of the black bloc anarchists who had wrought the deplorable property destruction the previous day, destruction that for some strange reason the police chose not to stop. Without a proper warrant, the police, under Meissner's command, swooped in with tasers pointed and rubber bullets at the ready, proceeding to shackle all of the arrested. Eventually, charges were dropped.

Most disturbing is that this information about Meissner was withheld from the public in the OIPRD report, and The Star was able to obtain the information only from one of the arrested people who complained to the arm's length agency.

It would seem that the public's right to know is yet another of our cherished freedoms that is more illusion than reality.

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