SIU unable to find a single guilty police officer from the G20 debacle

SIU unable to find a single guilty police officer from the G20 debacle

Police on the streets of Toronto on June 25, 2010 (Image: Ronnie Yip)

The news broke yesterday that Ontario’s answer to “who watches the watchmen,” the civilian watchdog known as the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), looked into six cases of serious injury by police during the G20 summit and found exactly nothing. After careful investigation, the SIU has declared that even in cases where the investigators are pretty sure something bad went down, the inability to identify any of the police officers responsible means it’s impossible to hold anyone accountable.

According to the National Post:

After completing six investigations into injuries sustained by six men during the G20 summit in Toronto, the agency was unable to identify most of the officers alleged to have been involved. In some cases, the SIU said the source of the injuries was unclear, while for others — such as 19-year-old Brendan Latimer of Ajax, who ended up with a broken nose — the damage apparently came at the hands of police.

“On the basis of the investigation, there are reasonable grounds to believe an officer used excessive force leading to injuries to the complainant,” SIU director Ian Scott said in a statement on Mr. Latimer’s case. “However, given the fact that no subject officer can be named after a thorough investigation, I cannot form reasonable grounds that any identified officer committed a criminal offence in the circumstances of this case.”

It’s easy to be outraged about this latest example of G20 malfeasance, but bear in mind that this civilian blundering isn’t much worse than the police blundering. After all, the cops rounded up hundreds of people and have so far managed to make charges stick to almost none of them. Civilians might not be any good at finding culprits in the cops’ ranks, but the cops are almost as bad at finding guilty civilians.

SIU won’t lay charges in six G20 cases of alleged injury by police [National Post]
• G20 police won’t face criminal charges [Globe and Mail]
• SIU clears officers in G20 probe [Toronto Star]