In the wake of almost 1,000 people being arrested during the G20 summit protests in Toronto last weekend – in what is being called the largest mass arrest in Canadian history – police are being accused of everything from rape to torching a police car under the guise of Black Bloc members.
One female journalist who was arrested said she witnessed numerous women getting strip searched by male officers.
She also said a woman in jail told her that a male officer stuck a finger inside her vagina during a search.
In the above video, Amy Miller also said police continually told her they hoped she would get raped while incarcerated. She said she spent 13 hours in jail.
Police are also being accused of donning black masks and destroying property, including torching a police car under the guise of the Black Bloc.
As far-fetched as that might sound, it makes you wonder when you learn that police stood by and made no arrests when Black Bloc members were destroying property, but made mass arrests in the following days when people were protesting peacefully.
According to The New York Times:
After allowing a small group of people to burn police cars and smash windows unimpeded on Saturday afternoon, many of the 20,000 police officers deployed in Toronto changed tactics that evening and during the last day of the gathering.
There was a notable increase in both the numbers of police officers who surrounded demonstrations as well as more use of tear gas and rubber or plastic bullets. At the same time, there was a visible drop in the number of demonstrators in the city streets.
As a result, the violence by some demonstrators that marred the opening of the Group of 20 meeting did not reappear on Sunday, and more than 600 people were arrested Saturday and Sunday.
Police are also accused of making up laws on the spot, telling people that they could not come within five meters of the dividing fence that separated protesters from the actual summit. The actual law, which was temporarily passed for the summit, stated that it was illegal for protesters to stray inside the fenced area.
According to CTV News:
The temporary regulation, which was passed in secret June 2, did decree that all streets and sidewalks inside the fence were a public work until 11:59 p.m. Monday. Under the Ontario Public Works Protection Act, that allowed police to search people trying to enter that area.
But there was no power to search people coming within five metres of the fence, said ministry spokeswoman Laura Blondeau.
“The area designated by the regulation as a public work does not extend outside the boundary of the fence,” Blondeau said.
Asked Tuesday if there actually was a five-metre rule given the ministry’s clarification, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair smiled and said, “No, but I was trying to keep the criminals out.”
Keep the criminals out? It sounds like the criminals were the only people who had access to the fenced area.
To view some excellent images of the protests, check out the Globe and Mail photo gallery.