TORONTO, June 24, 2011 /CNW/ - The Office of the Independent Police
Review Director (OIPRD) today released an update of the status of its
review of systemic issues surrounding public complaints against police
during the G20 Summit in Toronto.
"Events surrounding the G20 have had a profound impact on the citizens
of Toronto and on public confidence in the police. My office is in the
final stages of completing the G20 systemic review and producing a
report that will provide an accurate overall picture of policing at the
G20, as well as meaningful recommendations. I expect to have my report
out in the next few months."
- Gerry McNeilly, Independent Police Review Director
The review is gathering, reviewing and analyzing a vast amount of
information, including individual complaint investigations, disclosure
from numerous police services and officer and witness interviews, along
with stakeholder submissions and information that is publicly
available, in order to identify issues arising from policing during the
G20. Once common findings have been noted, the OIPRD will prepare a
final report summarizing the findings of the review and outlining
recommendations to improve policing of large-scale protests.
The OIPRD is responsible for receiving, managing and overseeing all
public complaints against the police in Ontario. This includes
Ontario's municipal and regional police services and the Ontario
The Police Services Act gives the Independent Police Review Director the power to examine and
review issues of a systemic nature that are the subject of, or that
give rise to public complaints under the Act.
Under the Public Inquiries Act, the Director and appointed investigators have the power to summon
witnesses and have the ability to require documents to be produced.
Read the Status Update for the review on our website.
G20 SYSTEMIC REVIEW STATUS UPDATE
In June of 2010, the City of Toronto hosted a summit of international
leaders from 20 nations across the world, commonly known as the G20.
This was the fourth meeting of the G20 leaders and was intended to be a
forum to discuss international economic cooperation during the ongoing
world recession. The security preparations for the summit represented
the largest police operation in Canadian history. Almost 21,000 police
officers and security personnel from across Canada were brought in to
provide security for both the G20 and G8. Many of the G8 officers were
later deployed to Toronto.
On July 22, 2010, the Office of the Independent Police Review Director
(OIPRD) announced it would be conducting a systemic review of the
issues surrounding the G20. At this point the OIPRD had received
nearly 275 complaints relating to events during the G20. To date the
office has received a total of 357 G20 complaints. After reviewing the
complaints, it became evident a pattern existed. The Director
determined that a systemic review of the G20 was necessary to provide
an overall review of police practices and provide recommendations for
The common themes in the complaints were allegations of unlawful
searches, unlawful arrests, improper detention and issues related to
the temporary holding facility (Prisoner Processing Centre) used to
detain people arrested during the G20. The G20 conduct investigations
will be used to inform the larger G20 systemic review.
In addition to the information uncovered during the course of the
investigations, the OIPRD is gathering disclosure from numerous police
services across the province and Canada and conducting systemic
interviews of both police and witnesses to provide a balanced and
informed opinion on the events that transpired.
The first major disclosure from Toronto Police Services was not received
until October 22, 2010 - more than two months after the initial request
was formally made on August 8, 2010. The RCMP received the first
request for disclosure on August 31, 2010. To date the RCMP has only
provided a high level overview of the decision matrix. The OPP
received the initial disclosure request on March 8, 2011, and provided
disclosure on March 14, 2011. The disclosure request to the OPP was
late because the OIPRD was not aware of the extent of OPP involvement
in the G20 and needed more information before the disclosure request
could be made. The slow pace and vast amount of disclosure has been an
issue for the G20 team as a whole.
In addition to police services, the OIPRD requested disclosure from the
Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services and the Ontario
Legislature. As the process continues more information is being
uncovered and more disclosure requests are being made.
To date, the OIPRD has received more than 14 separate G20 disclosure
files from TPS, containing thousands of pages of documents and photos
and hundreds of hours of video footage from CCTV cameras, on the ground
cameras and cameras in the Prisoner Processing Centre. Disclosure from
the OPP and the ministry included numerous hours of on the ground video
footage, audio scribe notes and hundreds of pages of planning and
communications documents including emails.
Systemic Review Process
The OIPRD retained 208 complaints stemming from the G20 and grouped
those complaints by geographic location of the incident.
The geographic locations of incidents are:
Queen's Park and the University of Toronto
Queen and Spadina
Novotel and the Esplanade
Prisoner Processing Centre.
The information uncovered from the complaints has been used to inform
the overall systemic review. Each complaint is still separate from the
G20 systemic review and will be investigated and reported to the
The Director also invited numerous community groups and police
organizations to provide submissions regarding the G20. The OIPRD
received 14 responses to its request.
As of the beginning of May, investigators had completed more than 450
interviews. Many interviews required travel and this added to
scheduling difficulties and increased the time spent on the
interviews. As civilians and officers were interviewed, the
investigators uncovered information that led to further disclosure
requests and more interviews.
Interviews for both conduct investigations and the systemic review have
taken place throughout Ontario and outside the province. Investigators
and the Director have conducted interviews in Montreal, Ottawa, London,
Barrie, Orillia, Hamilton, Durham, Peel, York Region and Toronto. In
many instances the interviews required repeat travel to the locations.
Other outside services travelled to Toronto to be interviewed.
In addition to the number of interviews required, the timing and amount
of disclosure has caused issues for the G20 team. The OIPRD has
thousands of pages of documents, hundreds of hours of video and
thousands of images. The volume has often been overwhelming and timely
to sort through and log.
The OIPRD will continue with the necessary interviews and will finalize
reports into conduct investigations. The G20 team will continue to
review the transcripts from interviews, disclosure from police and
other interested parties, including complainants, and create an overall
picture of the G20 from initial planning to the conclusion of the
Once the available information has been analyzed by the G20 team, issues
will be identified in relation to the large-scale incidents: Queen's
Park and the University of Toronto arrests, Queen and Spadina, Allan
Gardens, Prisoner Processing Centre, Novotel and the Esplanade.
General recommendations and issues will also be identified in other
policing areas such as planning and communications. Once common
findings have been noted, recommendations will flow from those
findings. The intent of the report is to make meaningful
recommendations that can be used by any police service during large
SOURCE Office of the Independent Police Review Director
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