Man settles G20 lawsuit, claims police brass ordered false arrests
Jason Wall has settled a lawsuit against Toronto police for his treatment during the G20. He said he was on his way home to go to church on Sunday, June 27, when he was arrested for wearing a bandana, verbally abused and handled roughly before being released without charge the next day.VINCE TALOTTA/TORONTO STAR
Jason Wall was walking along Yonge St. on his way to church over Toronto G20 weekend last year when officers “mobbed” and arrested him for allegedly wearing a disguise.
Not only was his arrest illegal, he says, but a report on his case shows senior police command ordered officers to make similar illegitimate arrests, stopping people for simply wearing a bandana, like him, or carrying a backpack.
“We need to hold police accountable,” the 25-year-old Toronto graphic designer said in an interview Monday.
Wall has settled a $25,000 lawsuit against Toronto police on undisclosed terms, and will hold a news conference Tuesday.
A report from the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OPIRD) concluded that he was arrested illegally on a charge of wearing a disguise with intent.
Although police claimed his lower face was partially covered by his bandana, a “disguise” on its own is not enough for a charge but requires the intent to commit an indictable offence, the report said.
Officers detaining Wall on June 27, 2010, told OPIRD investigators they were instructed to arrest people wearing bandanas, masks or gas masks concealing their identity. One officer said he was told to search anyone with a backpack, and if that person refused, he or she could be arrested for obstructing police.
Davin Charney, Wall’s lawyer, said the report shows the many unlawful arrests of that weekend were not just the result of a few bad apples or overreaction from front-line officers. “The orders must have come from the top.”
Toronto police spokesperson Mark Pugash deferred comment until after a Tuesday news conference, but said that, judging by the Wall’s news release, several of his claims were inaccurate.
Monday, 28 November 2011
Toronto News: Man settles G20 lawsuit, claims police brass ordered false arrests - thestar.com