Cops look for public input in G20 review—just don’t mention officers, the OPP, the RCMP, personal experiences or operational matters
This morning, the Toronto Police Services Board will begin taking public input on the scope of the city’s inquiry into policing during the G20 summit. This is the first baby step toward one of the many investigations that have been promised since the summit: Ontario’s ombudsman, Andre Marin, is investigating the province’s “five-metre rule” that didn’t exist, and Ottawa might get involved if the Tories ever let a committee get started. The TPSB will be looking to frame the inquiry today, and name a head of the inquiry sometime in August. This all sounds good, except that the cops have indicated that they’d prefer not to investigate individual officers, the OPP, the RCMP, personal experiences or operational matters.
CBC News has the bad news:
[The inquiry] won’t investigate other police forces working in the city that weekend, like the RCMP or the Ontario Provincial Police.
The board won’t be hearing complaints about personal experiences with police officers during the G20 summit—that’s the job of the provincial police watchdog, the Ontario Independent Review Director.
The review is also not a full public inquiry, which has been demanded by many critics of police actions during the G20. The review is not legally binding, although Toronto police chief Bill Blair will have to answer to the board.
So the review will only be looking at one third of the Integrated Security Unit that was deployed during the G20. And it won’t hear complaints about “personal experiences,” like, presumably, being threatened for blowing bubbles or having a leg torn off. The board will focus on “policy, oversight and governance,” but it seems specific cases of alleged abuse won’t be touched. The Star reports that the inquiry will look at who was in control when the nastiness went down on Yonge Street, but that’s as specific as it gets. The review won’t dwell on “operational details,” meaning that there’s faint hope of figuring out why, exactly, hundreds of people were held out in the rain that Sunday night.
So the first independent investigation of police conduct during the G20 will be thorough, except for all the exceptions.