G20 most wanted list released
Toronto police aim to ID 10 protesters from 38 photos
Toronto police have released what they are calling a top 10 most wanted list of protesters they suspect caused vandalism and violence during the G20 weekend.
The police department's G20 investigative team held a news conference Wednesday afternoon to ask for the public's help in identifying people involved in criminal activity during the protests, particularly on June 26, the first day of the two-day summit.
Police released 38 photographs featuring 10 people.
"They are individuals who are not suspects, they are people who are wanted for criminal offences and the only difficulty that the investigative team has is that, at this point, we don't know who they are," said Det.-Sgt. Gary Giroux. "So we're seeking the assistance of the public to identify them to us."
At least two police cruisers were set on fire and a number of storefronts in the downtown core were vandalized.
Giroux also said police have charged a man in connection with the burning of the cruisers.
Toronto resident Ashran Ravindhraj, 25, turned himself in to police Wednesday morning, said Giroux. He faces charges of arson and two counts of mischief over $5,000.
His picture was not included among those released Wednesday.
The news conference is the latest episode in what is turning into a public relations battle between activists and the police. Civil liberties groups, protesters and journalists have decried police actions during the protest, and there have been numerous calls for greater police oversight.
Nearly 1,000 people were detained before and during the G20 as part of the largest peacetime mass arrest in Canadian history.
Facial recognition software is being used to help police match pictures sent to them by the public to pictures that police took of the hundreds detained throughout the weekend, Giroux said.
'I have the public's support'
Giroux dismissed suggestions that the news conference was an attempt to win the public's sympathies.
"I know I'm not waging a battle for public support based on the reaction that I've had from the public," he said.
"I have the public's support. It's overwhelming."
He said the investigative team has amassed 14,000 images and 500 videos of the protests, and urged the public to send them more information.
Meanwhile, the group Canadians Advocating Political Participation held its own news conference Wednesday afternoon to call for a federal public inquiry of police actions during the protest.
On Tuesday, the Toronto Community Mobilization Network (TCMN), an umbrella group that helped co-ordinate anti-G20 protests, held a news conference asking the public to submit photo and video evidence, as well as stories of what it calls police brutality.
The organization displayed several videos that captured what it described as excessive police response to protesters, and also said it will be launching its own "independent people's investigation into the severe and widespread abuses of police power."
Jean McDonald, a York University PhD student, said at the TCMN news conference that she went downtown on June 26 to peacefully protest. She alleged police swung a baton at her and her baby finger was "basically shattered."
"That weekend was terrifying. Now looking back at these videos, I get shaky. I feel nauseous."