Multiple G20 reviews panned by ex-police monitor
Having four different bodies all conduct reviews into the policing of the G20 protests will leave key questions unaddressed and will confuse the public, says a former chair of the Toronto Police Services Board.
Speaking to CBC's Metro Morning, Susan Eng called for better co-ordination from the agencies that are conducting the reviews.
"I don't think that the many sets of eyes is the answer. I think that an organized set of eyes might be a better answer," she said. "With all of them, as I say, tripping over each other, begrudgingly at that, I'm not so sure that we will [get answers], but I guess it's better than nothing at the moment. And I don't think that's a good enough answer — 'better than nothing.'"
On Thursday, the Office of the Independent Police Review Director announced it would investigate more than 275 complaints his office has received about police behaviour during the June 26-27 summit.
Meanwhile, the police services board, a civilian agency overseeing the Toronto force, has said it will review the governance and policy issues regarding policing during the summit. The police force will conduct its own internal review into police operations during the summit.
The Ontario Ombudsman is investigating the provincial government's introduction of a new regulation that gave police expanded powers in the security area ahead of the summit.
"They do have overlapping jurisdictions, even though they will say they will try not to have, and people in the public are going to lose track of what's going on," said Eng, who chaired the police services board from 1991-95.
"And in fact the whole purpose of these reviews … is that the general public needs to feel a sense of confidence in the police. If you start off by, one, ignoring their concerns, and then coming with several reviews, each begrudgingly, I might add, where is the sense of responding to the public's concerns?"
Toronto police have come under criticism from civil liberties groups and protesters over their handling of protests during the summit. Nearly 1,000 people were arrested in connection with G20 protests.