Police arrest protesters early Thursday morning after a march against tuition fee hikes in Montreal. (Ryan Remiorz/CP)Kettling is a police tactic widely used in Europe where riot police surround demonstrators and limit or cut off their exits. Critics say kettling often results in the scooping up of innocent bystanders as well as offenders.
The police say they kettled demonstrators because some in the crowd threw rocks at officers. "Their physical integrity was in jeopardy," said Const. Daniel Lacoursiere of the Montreal police. "That's why all these arrests were made at the corner of St-Denis and Sherbrooke."
A recent report by Ontario's police watchdog blasted Toronto police for their use of the tactic during the G20 summit two years ago, saying they violated civil rights, detained people illegally and used excessive force.
Kettling was used on at least 10 occasions during the G20 protests, the report said. The Toronto police senior officer who ordered the kettling of protestors was among 45 officers who are facing misconduct charges.
The Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) recommended that police allow more time and use better technology to provide warnings to disperse a crowd before kettling or arresting people.
A separate report by the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP (CPC) found that the Mounties' role in the G20 kettling was not consistent with RCMP policy. CPC vice-chair Ian McPhail said that RCMP policy on crowd control is to provide an exit.
Is kettling a valid police tactic? Should there be limits on its use? Let us know what you think.
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)
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