TORONTO, Ont. – This was an unprecedented weekend for Toronto police, as they attempted to balance the rights of thousands of protesters with the actions of criminals rampaging through the streets destroying private property.
The Integrated Security Unit said there have been more than 900 G20-related arrests since June 18.
And as many demand answers about the actions of police during the summit, police are not making any apologies.
Toronto police Staff Supt. Jeff McGuire said police weren’t taking any chances given what went down Saturday.
“We’re not suggesting we are perfect, these decisions were made as best as we can at the time with the evidence that we have and things we’re facing,” Staff Supt. McGuire said.
On Saturday, store windows were smashed and police cars were burned in downtown streets. So on Sunday, not wanting a repeat of what happened the previous day, officers in riot gear boxed in a crowd of hundreds including several members of the media at Queen Street and Spadina Avenue.
680News reporter Kevin Misener was in that group with no way out. He was eventually released, but others were detained for hours in the pouring rain.
“We all lined up, we volunteered to be arrested. We were taken through the line, we were roughly told ‘why were you in there?’, ‘who are you?’, ‘show us ID’, we were thoroughly searched, I was frisked from top to bottom,” Misener said.
Meanwhile, police officers received high praise from Ontario Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Rick Bartolucci for their tough G20 response. He said officers were professional in the face of trying circumstances.
Bartolucci also congratulated Toronto police Chief Bill Blair and Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino for leading the forces.