G20 protesters launch lawsuits
Two more protesters have launched lawsuits against Toronto police, seeking damages for the way they were treated during the G20 weekend last June.
Lawyer Davin Charney, who is representing six protesters, said Tuesday the two cases represent a major violation of people's rights.
One of the protesters, 25-year-old Luke Stewart, claimed police illegally searched his backpack and confiscated his swimming goggles.
Stewart said at a news conference that his rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedom were violated.
"We are told all the time that we need to play the game — the democracy game. Well I am going to play the game and see what happens and see if this charter means anything," said Stewart.
A woman who says she was illegally arrested and jailed has also filed a lawsuit. But unlike other suits against the Toronto police, these lawsuits have been filed in small claims court where the maximum payout is $25,000.
Charney said the incidents, taken individually, may seem minor "but when we start to add up the hundreds, or thousands of people [affected], then it becomes a major issue."
Charney says his clients are seeking damages for loss of liberty, humiliation and loss of reputation.
"We don't need broken bones," he said. "People suffer an injury by these terrible experiences."
Toronto police can probably expect more lawsuits. Four other protesters who spoke at Tuesday's news conference say they intend to take action in small claims court as well.