Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Wheels of G20 Justice Move Very Slowly

Although I have written countless posts about the abrogation of charter rights and myriad instances of police brutality that occured in Toronto during the infamous G20 weekend in 2010, the story never seems to be over.

This past week saw one officer acquitted in the assault of Dorian Barton; Glenn Weddell was found not guilty of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon by Ontario Superior Court Justice M. Gregory Ellies based on Wedell's testimony that he initially did not even remember any interaction with Barton, but after reviewing images of the event recalled that he merely helped Barton up from the pavement by his T-shirt and guided him clear of police lines.

This 'memory' stood in sharp contrast to that of Andrew Wallace, a hospital worker also taking pictures of the protest, [who] said he saw Weddell emerge from a line of riot police to viciously hit Barton with his shield and baton, completely without provocation.

Another man, Adam Nobody, testified to similar mistreatment this week; he was, again apparently without provocation, beset upon by five or six officers who pinned him to the ground and pummelled him repeatedly. Police lawyer Harry Black, who is defending Const. Babak Andalib-Goortani against charges of assaulting Nobody with a weapon, his nightstick, made the predictable attempts to impugn Nobody's character and veracity, but the latter remained calmly consistent in his testimony.

In another development,

A court has ruled Ontario’s police watchdog must re-examine a complaint about orders given during the G20 summit by the upper command of Toronto police — allegedly including Chief Bill Blair — to arrest anyone wearing bandanas or masks.

Jason Wall, who filed the complaint, was wearing a brown bandana around his neck when he was arrested on June 27, 2010, while walking on Yonge St. near Gerrard St.

Wall, 26, was charged with wearing a disguise with intent and held for 28 hours in the Eastern Ave. prisoner processing centre.

Finally, and probably the most cowardly and disgraceful act of the entire weekend of police abuse involved John Pruyn, the man who was in the so-called 'official protest zone' at Queens Park with his wife and daughter when, inexplicably, police charged the area, ripped off Pruyn's leg, appropriated his walking sticks, and hauled him off to detention for 24 hours. He received his leg back upon release.

While the link to the Star article doesn't seem to be working, I will tell you what he wants: an official apology by the police officers involved in the abuse, "their boss, Chief Bill Blair, and their ultimate boss, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, that they were wrong to treat him that way."

So far, and unsurprisingly, none of the above has indicated any interest in acknowledging Pruyn's request.

Perhaps all should be reminded of the old adage: Pride goeth before the fall.


  1. The Pruyn case is particularly egregious, Lorne. And the authorities don't appear to be the least embarrassed.

    The case is a glaring example of how power corrupts.

  2. I can't help but think that when corruption occurs at the top echelons of power, Owen, it is never long before the infection spreads far and wide.