RCMP G20 report, let the bullshit begin

Posted on May 14th, 2012 No comments. The post is really that bad, huh?

Hard to know where to begin on the recent report by the RCMP exonerating itself (surprise surprise) of any wrongdoing during the G20 summit here in Toronto. How about responsibility, for starters. Well, you all remember the infamous kettling incident where the police just rounded up everyone walking through the street, encircled them, and kept them standing in the rain for hours? Who was responsible for that again?

Bill Blair said, yeah, the Toronto Police gave the orders:

“I do acknowledge the operational command decisions were being made by a Toronto police superintendant who was the operational commander at the time here in Toronto,” he said.

How very interesting, considering the RCMP report claims that they were calling the shots.

 The RCMP assumed the role of security lead by authority of the G8 Summit Privileges and Immunities Order, 2010-2, and the G20 Summit Privileges and Immunities Order, 2010. These orders created the legal basis for Canada to host the Summits and, accordingly, provided the RCMP with authority pursuant to the Foreign Missions and International Organizations Act to take the lead role for security of the events.

The decision makers for the G8, in descending order, were the Executive Steering Committee, the UCC Commander, the Area Commander and the Site Commander. POUcommanders, if deployed, were given authority to make decisions with respect to the tactics and equipment to be used during time-sensitive operational situations. A similar matrix was created for the G20, but an added level of Jurisdictional Commander, e.g. the MICC Commander, appeared below Site Commander to reflect the addition of the MICC.

When asked what his [ISU’s Lead] expectations were of the UCC Commander and the TACC Commander in this situation, the ISU Lead stated that he would only expect the UCC Commander to get involved if there had been a strategic need to do so (e.g. need for additional resources). The ISU Lead was clear that the kettling was a tactical decision—that is to say, it was made by the Toronto Police Service.

Even more interesting is the claim that the RCMP broke their own rules in kettling protesters:

The RCMP reluctantly participated in kettling protesters at the G20 riots in Toronto in 2010, under orders from the local police, even though the controversial crowd-control technique is not part of the Mounties’ playbook.

So right out of the gate we have the Toronto Police claiming to give orders to the RCMP while the RCMP claims it was in charge (a number of times), and then admitting to using tactics contrary to its own “playbook”. The a TPS tactical decision overrides the RCMP’s stated policies? And who’s in charge again?

Moreover, it is the RCMP stated policy “always” to give crowds a way out.

Then there’s the back-pedaling being done on Bill Blair’s secret law (suddenly and without warning applying it to half of downtown Toronto , even when many people directly asked, certainly made it “secret”):

Documentation provided to the Commission indicates that the Public Works Protection Act regulation was enacted in response to concerns expressed by the Toronto Police Service that officers would not be able to demand identification from those wishing to enter the area in which the Summit was taking place.

“Wishing to enter”? Funny, that’s not how it was either interpreted or enforced. In fact, the law says a few different things that don’t coincide:

Powers of guard or peace officer

3.A guard or peace officer,

(a) may require any person entering or attempting to enter any public work or any approach thereto to furnish his or her name and address, to identify himself or herself and to state the purpose for which he or she desires to enter the public work, in writing or otherwise;

(b) may search, without warrant, any person entering or attempting to enter a public work or a vehicle in the charge or under the control of any such person or which has recently been or is suspected of having been in the charge or under the control of any such person or in which any such person is a passenger; and

(c) may refuse permission to any person to enter a public work and use such force as is necessary to prevent any such person from so entering. R.S.O. 1990, c. P.55, s. 3.

There was no provision for arrest if you didn’t “show your papers” simply walking around the fence, even though that’s exactly what the cops did, even though it’s obvious that this really only applied to people wanting to get inside the “Public Works” area. There’s also a lesser-known tidbit from around that time:

The Integrated Security Unit, comprised of security bodies including the Toronto police, RCMP and OPP, were concerned that lawyers were advising radical activist groups that police have limited right to question, identify and detain individuals near the fenced secure area downtown, Mukherjee said.

Blair made the request after ISU members decided extending the powers in the act, which covers buildings including Union Station and Toronto police headquarters, to the G20 fence, he said.

“The decision makers felt that a clearer articulation of what those limits are would be useful. It was not chief Blair alone. It was the ISU,” said [Police Services Board chair] Alok Mukherjee.

How about that? The RCMP claims in their report it was Toronto Police Services alone that “expressed concern” (i.e. wanted to terrorize people on the street without warrant), yet articles from that time show the RCMP (and the OPP) were in on the push for the secret law right from the get-go.

One of the more blatant lies maintained in the RCMP report is that police acted in good faith by “pre-arresting” people before they had a chance to cause trouble at the G20:

During the lead up to the commencement of the [G20] Summit, intelligence led threat assessments will be prepared by the Joint Intelligence Group (JIG). These reports will document threat levels relating to terrorism threats and planned protest threats.

The ongoing intelligence from these reports will have an impact on the deployment of human and material resources, where the potential for confrontation between protestors and police personnel are likely to occur. G20 Operations personnel conducted Vulnerability Risk Assessments in Toronto in December 2009 of the proposed venue, airport and hotels.

All “targeting” will be based upon criminal predicate: Suspects will be determined based upon their proven willingness, capacity and intention to commit criminal acts and/or create situations that pose public safety concerns.

The RCMP conclusion:

Finding No. 8: The JIG appropriately identified and assessed criminal threats to the Summits.

That a fact? Of the 70 or so pre-arrests that were “appropriately identified and assessed criminal threats”, how many of the charges stuck? Literally none. In fact, this was pretty much par for the course during all police actions during the G20, yet the cops managed to completely miss actual trouble-makers, and this more than once.

These are just three examples in the report. I haven’t even read the whole thing and already I’m finding the stench of bullshit unbearable. If you’re willing to hold your nose long enough and find more “inconsistencies”, I’d love to hear from you and append them here. I’m sure it’s filled with examples of this kind of crap which the mainstream media are missing in favour of easy-to-read, highlighted admissions of failure.

 

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