Misconduct charges are expected against 45 Toronto police officers involved in the G20 summit two years ago

By Zach Dubinsky and Dave Seglins,

May 18, 2012

Misconduct charges are expected against 45 Toronto police officers involved in the G20 summit two years ago, including five senior officers, one of them the commander who gave the notorious order to “kettle” protesters.

A copy of an investigative report carrying the logo of the provincial watchdog agency, the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, was provided to CBC News late Thursday night by one of the 37 people who filed complaints about their treatment during the kettling incident. CBC News was unable to confirm its authenticity with the OIPRD.

The report says some of the responsibility for detaining several hundred people for four hours in the rain goes all the way to the top, to Toronto police Chief Bill Blair and Deputy Chief Tony Warr, though it falls short of mandating charges against them.

But the report says operational responsibility lies with Supt. Mark Fenton, one of two Toronto officers who served as “incident commanders” during the G20 and had control of officers in streets. He is expected to face two charges.

Fenton’s order to keep the group of protesters, bystanders and even some journalists boxed in at Queen Street West and Spadina Avenue “in a severe rain storm that included thunder and lightning was unreasonable, unnecessary and unlawful,” according to the document. It violated the detainees’ constitutional right against arbitrary detention and was negligent, the 276-page report says.

The commander’s explanation to investigators for his decision was that he feared police riot squads weren’t mobile enough to react to “ongoing attacks” by what he saw as “terrorists” committing acts of vandalism in Toronto’s streets. “Therefore, the tactic of isolating, containing the movement of the terrorists/protesters was required to stop the ongoing attacks and prevent new attacks,” the report quotes Fenton saying.

The report indicates the OIPRD is directing Blair to charge Fenton with two counts of misconduct under the Police Services Act: unlawful exercise of authority and discreditable conduct.

The charges under the Police Services Act are not criminal and amount to internal discipline, which can result in docking of pay to outright dismissal. None of the out-of-town police officers brought in to help Toronto police was charged.

The watchdog agency investigated nine other officers’ conduct in relation to the June 27, 2010, kettling incident, but charges were not substantiated against any of them.

The OIPRD tabled a separate public report on the G20 released Wednesday that concluded a “turning point’ during the summit weekend came late Saturday, June 26, when Warr implored Fenton to “take back the streets.”

OIPRD director Gerry McNeilly says that following those instructions the Major Incident Command Centre (MICC) structure broke down, as the night incident commander (Fenton) launched an “autocratic” and “dysfunctional” crackdown ordering mass arrests of protesters.

Some front-line officers, according to McNeilly, ultimately disregarded Fenton’s orders at the kettling and let some people out of the ring of riot squad officers, including those with medical emergencies. He noted records of one officer stating of Fenton, “He’s maniacal this MICC, he’s maniacal.”

Fenton could not be reached for comment and did not respond to emails from CBC News on Thursday night. He has not had an opportunity to respond to the report or the expected disciplinary charges against him.

45 police expected to face charges

Three or four of Fenton’s fellow senior officers, and about 40 other Toronto police, are also expected to face charges by the time the oversight body wraps up its investigation of G20 policing.

CBC News has learned that to date the OIPRD has ordered Blair to charge 28 of those officers, but the agency is expected to direct him to lay more counts against another 17, including Fenton, bringing the total number of officers facing discipline hearings to 45.

The Toronto Star reported early Friday that two of those senior officers found to have committed misconduct are the pair who were in command of the mass detention centre on Eastern Avenue, where hundreds of arrested people were held during the G20 weekend.

Some details of the OIPRD proceedings surfaced this week at Ontario’s Divisional Court when Toronto’s police union attempted to have the cases dismissed due to delays. A panel of three judges rejected the application brought by the union on behalf of eight officers — two accused of using unnecessary force on prisoners and six accused of conducting illegal arrests. They are now expected to appear before tribunals on June 19 and July 24.

The news of the disciplinary charges comes on the heels of the release on Wednesday of the OIPRD’s scathing systemic review of overall policing of the G20 summit, during which the agency says some officers used “excessive force” to crack down on demonstrations as more than 1,100 people were rounded up in the streets.

When he released his review, McNeilly told reporters that his team of investigators was also probing allegations against specific officers. He said 350 individuals filed complaints relating to G20 policing, and his office substantiated 107 of them, determining 97 were “serious.”

An OIPRD spokesman later explained that some of the complaints involved the same incidents and the same officers.

Criminal charges

The OIPRD proceedings against individual officers add to numerous disciplinary charges already laid by Blair on his own initiative against officers caught removing their name tags during G20 demonstrations.

In addition, criminal charges were laid against two Toronto constables by Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit, which probes serious injuries or deaths involving police.

The SIU charged Const. Babak Andalib-Goortani with assault with a weapon in connection with an incident at Queen’s Park in which protester Adam Nobody suffered a broken cheekbone in a violent takedown captured on video. He faces a second count of assault with a weapon stemming from another incident at the same protest in which a woman was hit with a baton.

And Const. Glenn Weddell stands accused of assault causing bodily harm after 30-year-old Dorian Barton’s arm was broken while he was photographing police during a protest. Source

Kettling incident was caught on video:

G20 charges coming against Toronto police commanders

By Dave Seglins,

May 17, 2012

A handful of senior Toronto police commanders are expected to be charged in coming weeks for a variety of misconduct offences over their leadership at the G20 summit in June 2010, CBC News has learned.

The charges are in addition to 28 frontline officers slated to have disciplinary hearings for a range of misconduct offences, including unlawful arrests and use of excessive or unnecessary force against prisoners.

The details of charges come on the heels of a report released yesterday by Ontario’s top civilian complaints watchdog Gerry McNeilly, head of the Office of the Independent Police Review Director.

He concluded in a “systemic review” of the G20 in Toronto that police leaders were poorly prepared and launched a crackdown that led to illegal mass arrests, arbitrary searches and unlawful detentions of more than 1,000 largely peaceful protesters and bystanders.

“Mr. McNeilly is recommending charges to be laid against about a half dozen senior officers,” confirmed Toronto Police Services board chair Alok Mukherjee in an interview with CBC News on Thursday.

Mukherjee said those who face misconduct hearings include “people who were in decision-making roles … that go pretty high in the organization. He has identified some people who are at very senior ranks.”

Toronto’s police union this week was in an Ontario court attempting to have all G20 disciplinary charges against officers thrown out due to lengthy delays.

But a panel of Ontario Divisional Court judges ruled against the union, clearing the way for disciplinary hearings to proceed in the coming months against 28 officers that could result in exonerations or punishments ranging from docking of officers’ pay to outright dismissal.

Until now, no details of specific charges against the officers have been released, however court documents reveal specific allegations against eight officers who have already been served with “notices of hearing.”

Those officers have not had a chance to defend themselves, but the charges against them are as follows:

  • Const. Vincent Wong Unlawful arrest of “J.W.” (Sunday, June 27, 10 a.m. at Yonge Street and Gerrard Avenue).
  • Const. Blair Begbie Unlawful arrest of “J.W.” (June 27, 10 a.m. at Yonge Street and Gerrard Avenue).
  • Const. Alan Li Unlawful arrest of “A.S.” (June 27, 4 p.m., Bloor Street West and Huron Street).
  • Const. Donald Stratton Unlawful arrest of “A.S.” (June 27, Bloor Street West and Huron Street).
  • Const. Michael Kirpoff Unnecessary force on prisoner “J.M.” (June 27, Queen Street West and Spadina Avenue).
  • Const. Ryan Simpson Unlawful arrest of cyclist “N.W.” (June 27, Bloor Street and Spadina Avenue).
  • Const. Jason Crawford Unlawful arrest of “N.W.” (June 27).
  • Const. Michael Martinez Unnecessary force on prisoner “J.R.” (Saturday, June 26, Novotel Hotel).

As a result of the disciplinary hearing, the officers could face penalties ranging from docked pay to dismissal. The officers could also be exonerated.

Toronto police spokesman Kevin Masterman told CBC News all of the officers facing misconduct charges remain on the job and are not suspended.

Constables Begbie and Wong will appear before a hearing on July 24. The rest of the officers have a hearing scheduled for July 19. Source

Into The Fire – Press For Truth – G20 Toronto Full Movie

This is a must watch film if you are to understand what happened at the G20.

Caught In The Act – Ombudsman Report on the G20 Summit

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European Commission plans sanctions for wayward bankers – reports

March 4 2009

By Clive Leviev-Sawyer

The European Commission wants Europe to set up a sanctions regime for banks and bankers that flout industry rules, according to plans to be published on March 4 2009, AFP reported.

The proposal is part of plans for a major shake-up of European supervision of the financial sector based on recent recommendations from an expert panel headed by former IMF director Jacques de Larosiere.

In a media statement on March 4, the EC said that it was calling on EU leaders to further step up co-ordinated European action to fight the economic crisis.

In its communication to the European Council summit on March 19 and 20, the Commission sets out proposals for building on the extensive support already being given to the real economy and to employment.

The Commission’s communication unveils a comprehensive reform of the financial system based on the de Larosiere report.

“It shows how a clear and united commitment to this ambitious programme can pave the way for the EU to give a global lead at the G20 summit in London on April 2,” the EC said.
EC President Jose Manuel Barroso said: “The Spring European Council must send a strong signal to citizens, businesses and the world. Yes, there is a way out of this crisis. Yes, Europe has the unity, the confidence and the determination to win this battle. We must forcefully implement the agreed recovery plan in a coordinated way. We must use the single market to the full.

“Today we are asking EU leaders to agree on a comprehensive action plan. To do everything possible to protect our citizens from unemployment. To clean up financial markets on the basis of the de Larosiere Report. And to pave the way for Europe to lead by example and by persuasion as we approach the G20 summit in London,” Barroso said.

The Commission’s communication begins with an overview of the measures taken since autumn 2008 which have prevented the meltdown of the European banking industry and thus prevented countless bankruptcies and job losses.

It urges member states to act quickly to restore confidence and get bank lending flowing again, in particular by implementing the guidance the Commission issued on February 25 2009 on removing impaired assets from banks’ balance sheets.

“The Commission endorses – and asks EU leaders to endorse – the key principles set out by the de Larosiere Group,” the EC statement said.

The Commission calls for a supervisory system combining much stronger oversight at EU level with maintaining a clear role for national supervisors.

It backs the Group’s proposal to set up an early warning body under ECB auspices to identify and tackle systemic risks.

The Commission supports the Group’s recommendation for a core set of regulatory standards throughout the EU.

In April, the EC will bring forward initiatives already in the pipeline on hedge funds, private equity and remuneration structures.

Following an impact assessment, the Commission will put forward to the June European Council a detailed timetable for further measures based on the de Larosiere report.
It will bring forward proposals in the autumn on the new supervisory framework and on issues including: liquidity risk and excessive leverage; further reinforcing protection for depositors and policy holders; and effective sanctions against wrongdoing.

The communication points to good first results of the European Economic Recovery Plan. The overall fiscal support to the economy from European and national measures and from automatic stabilisers amounts to at least 3.3 per cent of GDP over the 2009-2010 period.

An annexe summarises 500 national measures and concludes that they are broadly in line with the principles that recovery action should be timely, targeted and temporary.

The Commission calls on EU leaders to endorse clear principles for further action, in line with the single market, with open trade worldwide, with building a low carbon economy and with returning to sustainable public finances as soon as possible.

The Commission repeats its call for Member States to agree on the targeted investment of five billion euro in energy interconnections and broadband.

The Commission’s contribution calls for member states to step up efforts to tackle unemployment – which could approach 10 per cent in 2010 for the first time since the 1990s – and social exclusion.

“These efforts will also help maintain demand and prevent further job losses.”  They should be a central plank of national stimulus plans, the EC said.

The Commission invites member states to use measures such as financial support for temporary working-time arrangements, boosting income support for unemployed people, lowering non-wage costs for employers and boosting investment in skills and retraining.

At European level, the EC calls for rapid approval of its proposal to allow an immediate increase of 1.8 billion euro in advance payments under the European Social Fund.

The Commission also sets out a road map towards the European Employment Summit in Prague in May, which should agree on further concrete measures to save jobs and create them in the sectors of the future.

The Commission will organise a series of workshops with all key stakeholders in different member states in the approach to the summit.

The EC asks EU leaders to agree on a number of areas “where Europe can and should give a firm lead” on April 2 at the London G20 summit, building on the success it achieved by speaking with one voice at the Washington Summit in November 2008.

“The EU should make a united push to improve the global financial and regulatory system, focusing on: better transparency and accountability; appropriate regulation of all financial actors; tackling difficulties caused by uncooperative jurisdictions; boosting international supervisory cooperation; and reforming the IMF, Financial Stability Forum and World Bank,” the EC statement said.

“Europe should also promote global recovery by calling for a review of the global impact of fiscal measures taken so far, by promoting open trade and by inviting the London Summit to launch a multilateral initiative on trade finance and to reaffirm the Washington commitment to the Millennium Development Goals,” the EC said.

Source

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Published in: on March 6, 2009 at 5:09 am  Comments Off on European Commission plans sanctions for wayward bankers – reports  
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Korea Rules Out Tapping IMF Loan

November 16 2008

By Lee Hyo-sik

President Lee Myung-bak ruled out the possibility of utilizing IMF money, Sunday, citing Korea’s sufficient foreign exchange reserves and the bitter memory of the bailout following the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.

After attending the G20 summit in Washington Saturday, Lee said that the government will not need to turn to the Washington-based organization for funds, stressing the nation can ride out the current economic difficulties on its own.

“The government has decided not to use an IMF loan because if we receive money from it, everyone will see that as a sign of trouble. We had no choice but to ask for dollars from the IMF 10 years ago, but the situation is completely different now,” the President noted.

He then said the financial institution should reform itself drastically to regain creditability among its member economies. “In a meeting with IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, I told him that the way the IMF treated troubled economies 10 years ago tarnished its image because it imposed a range of stringent conditions that did not help the recipients much. I urged him to spare no effort to overhaul the organization to be reborn as a trustworthy international entity,” Lee stressed.

Additionally, Bloomberg quoted Deputy Strategy and Finance Minister Shin Je-yoon as saying that Korea will not tap the IMF for loans because the nation has sufficient foreign exchange reserves and other lines of credit it can draw upon.

It also reported that Shin said the Korean government may introduce more fiscal stimulus measures to boost domestic demand and thus spur growth amid growing concerns of a global recession and its fallout on Korea.

“If circumstances worsen, we are ready anytime to take more action. We want to stimulate domestic demand by using fiscal policy. We still have much room to implement such measures,” the newswire quoted Shin as saying.

His remarks come at a time when the world’s 13th largest economy is facing increasing downside risks in the wake of a global economic downturn as domestic demand continues to deteriorate, failing to offset falling outbound shipments.

Major research institutes at home and abroad project that Asia’s fourth largest economy will expand by below 4 percent next year, with UBS floating the possibility of only 1.1 percent growth. The state-run Korea Development Institute projected that the economy will grow 3.3 percent from a year earlier, while Samsung Economic Research Institute put Korea’s 2009 growth rate at 3.6 percent.

However, the government has pledged to propel growth to the 4 percent range, create 200,000 jobs and post a current account surplus of $5 billion next year through a $26 billion stimulus package, equal to 3.7 percent of GDP. The package includes 11 trillion won in additional spending to initiate public infrastructure projects, and three trillion won in tax cuts.

The Bank of Korea has also slashed the benchmark seven-day repurchase agreement rate by 1 percentage point to 4 percent since late last month in a move to ease a liquidity shortage and minimize the economic downturn.

Source

Moscow aims to restore trust with the U.S.

November 16 2008

Dmitry Medvedev has said the election of Barack Obama provides an opportunity for a renewal of trust between Moscow and Washington. Relations between the two sides have soured since the U.S. announced plans to build an anti-missile defence shield in Europe.

Speaking in the U.S. capital, the Russian President said “we have great hope and aspirations for the new administration.”

Medvedev has been doing the diplomatic rounds in the past week, from the EU summit in Nice to the G20 in Washington. A top issue for discussion has been the proposed U.S. anti-missile defence shield in Europe.

Speaking at Saturday’s G20 summit in Washington, The Russian president explained that Russia will place short-range missiles in its westernmost Kaliningrad region only if the planned U.S. bases are built in Poland and the Czech Republic.

Relations between the two sides were on the agenda before the Russian president managed to take off from Moscow.

The day after the U.S. election Medvedev gave a speech to the parliament’s upper chamber, announcing a plan to counter the US missile defence system in Europe with Iskander missiles deployed in Kaliningrad.

The address caused much alarm and criticism in the West, and ahead of the EU meeting Medvedev had to explain once again what he meant.

“I would not in any way link my speech on November 5 to any other political events, apart from my address to the Russian Federal Assembly. In other words, it is not in any way linked to the U.S. presidential election, or any other political events,” Medvedev told the French newspaper Le Figaro.

“I think it’s an absolutely adequate response. We did not start this. It is only a response to the unilateral move to deploy the US radars and missiles”.

French president Nicolas Sarkozy, who heads the EU at the moment, did not want to be held up by U.S-Russia sticking points. Sarkozy and preferred to focus on progress as well – like the EU’s work as a peace broker following last summer’s crisis in the Caucasus.

The U.S. couldn’t be avoided altogether. Russian and French leaders and the European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso were expected for dinner at the White House shortly after the Russia-EU summit wrapped up with plans for future security meetings.

The G20 meant all eyes were on the economy. They couldn’t help but wander in the direction of the man who will inherit an enormous task in January, even though he was far from Washington this weekend. Moscow anticipates that U.S. President-elect Barack Obama might better understand Russia’s concern about NATO expansion and missile defence in Europe.

“I hope we’ll be able to build normal partnership relations with the new administration and find solutions to some difficult issues which we could not find with the current administration,”
Medvedev said.

Source

Published in: on November 17, 2008 at 7:23 am  Comments Off on Moscow aims to restore trust with the U.S.  
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