McGill report on riot squad response released

A report on the university's involvement in a clash between student protestors and riot police in November was released Thursday.
Riot police were called in to the McGill campus on Nov. 10 after a group of protestors occupied part of the administration building. (Radio-Canada)

The dean of McGill University’s Faculty of Law has released his report on a clash between protesters and police on campus last month.

Daniel Jutras said his 60-page report released Thursday was based on interviews, video and audio recordings of the event, and a review of McGill's policies and procedures.

The goal, he said, was not to lay blame but to establish the facts around what happened.

"One thing that is emerging from this report, I hope, is a clear picture of the facts from which everybody can make their own assessment of causal connections," Jutras said.

Montreal police were called in following a large student march on Nov. 10 that spilled onto the campus.

Several students occupied part of the administration building and the principal’s office.

An associate professor at the university told the CBC he was clubbed and pepper sprayed after he was caught up in the police action while watching the protest.

Other students were reportedly also pepper sprayed and hit with batons.

In his report, Jutras found the university made a single call to police that day and that it did not call in riot police.

The report made six recommendations including improving communication inside the university and with police.

The university launched the investigation the day after the incident to look into what Principal Heather Monroe-Blum called "disturbing" events at the school.

Monroe-Blum met with reporters after the report's release Thursday but said she would not comment on its findings until January.

The university has faced criticism from student groups and some staff over its handling of the event and its method of investigating it.

Student Farid Attar questions the validity of the report because it was produced by the university itself.

"I do not feel the investigation is neutral," he said. "I'm not questioning the competency and the expertise of Dean Jutras, I'm sure he's a very competent man, but this is not a matter of competence. I think it's a matter of trust."