G20 manages to look even sketchier: one third of charges dropped yesterday

G20 manages to look even sketchier: one third of charges dropped yesterday

Cops examine a suspicious bag during the G20 summit on June 24, 2010 (Image: Karon Liu)

So, first the G20 fence charges disappeared with a lame explanation. And now it seems that of the hundreds of people arrested during the G20, Crown attorneys are dropping charges against at least a third of them. Apparently the city is looking at one of the biggest reversals in law enforcement history.

The Toronto Star has the story:

But on Monday, [Chris] Miller and nearly one-third of the 303 people facing charges for alleged criminal acts during the G20 summit had their charges dropped, according to estimates from local activists and lawyers representing the accused.

Outside court, Miller said he was happy his charge was withdrawn but feels it never should have been laid in the first place.

“I have a problem with the criminalization of dissent,” he said, adding that a good rain would have washed away what he did.

The suspicion that the arrests of so many may have had less to do with maintaining order and more to do with keeping troublemakers out of the way is starting to look like it wasn’t just cynical. Of course, the problem with that kind of tactic is that locking people up for what turns out to be no reason looks bad, hence all the calls for inquiries.

We’re not even sure an inquiry could sort this all out anymore. If the cops really want to improve their standing after this, everyone who was even scowled at during the G20 protests will need an apology and a cash-filled envelope. And that, it’s safe to say, won’t be happening. After all, where would the city find the cash?

• G20 charges dropped at mass hearing [Toronto Star]
• G20 charges in court [Toronto Star]
• Crown urged to drop all G20 charges [National Post]
• Protesters demand withdrawal of G20 charges [Toronto Sun]
• Many G20 accused will have charges dropped [CBC News]