Canada G-20 protesters file class action suit against AG and Toronto police

Canada G-20 protesters file class action suit against AG and Toronto police

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[JURIST] Two individuals detained during the Group of 20 (G-20) [official website] summit in Toronto in July filed a class action suit [statement of claim, PDF] on Thursday on behalf of 1,150 individuals detained during the summit. The individuals, Miranda McQuade and Mike Barber, named three defendants in the suit, the Canadian Attorney General, the Toronto Police Services Board and the Regional Municaplity of Peel Police Services Board [official websites]. The plaintiffs claim that law enforcement committed numerous intentional torts against those detained between June 25 and June 30, including:

abuse of power, abuse of process, false arrest, false imprisonment, infliction of mental suffering, invasion of privacy and abuse of public office. Alternatively, [Plaintiffs allege] that the defendants were negligent in the enactment of and execution of policies, procedures, directives and orders relating to the G20.

The plaintiffs listed numerous reasons for bringing the suit, including protection of individuals in Canada from violation of their rights as guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms [materials] and deterrence of similar future actions by the police. The plaintiffs seek $100 million in damages, plus an additional $15 million in punitive damages, but some detainees do not believe that monetary damages [Toronto Sun report] will prevent the same actions from happening in the future. None of the defendants has released an official statement regarding the claims.

Backlash from the G-20 meeting in Toronto began soon after the conclusion of summit. In early July, protesters in Toronto took to the streets and demanded an investigation [JURIST report] into police conduct during the meeting. One week before that July protest, the Ontario Ombudsman announced an investigation [JURIST report] into a local regulation [O regulation 233/10 text] that expanded the scope of police powers during the summit. That investigation is currently ongoing. Soon after the conclusion of the summit, in late June, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association called for an inquiry [JURIST report] into police conduct and treatment of protesters.