Provincial police watchdog concludes G20 aftermath: High-ranking and frontline Toronto police officers face charges
Toronto Star; May 18, 2012
“In his sweeping review, McNeilly concluded high-ranking Toronto police commanders overreacted during the G20 summit and assumed an “autocratic structure,” with superior officers — including Blair, according to one superintendent — disseminating orders to “own the streets” and take them back from the “terrorists that were attacking our city.”
The result on the ground, according to the report, was officers “blindly following orders” and using excessive force, ignoring “the basic rights of citizens under the Charter,” and acting unlawfully when they boxed in hundreds of people at the Novotel hotel and at Queen St. and Spadina Ave.
At a news conference on Wednesday afternoon, Blair said there are things that “could have been done better” during the G20 summit, but refused to apologize for or comment on specific allegations of misconduct by superior officers laid out in McNeilly’s review.
“I think that there is an appropriate place for that to be determined,” Blair said, referring to police tribunal hearings.
The chief did not take the findings of the report as fact, instead saying he would reserve his judgment until tribunal hearings are held.
Blair also refused to apologize on behalf of the force for human rights violations that took place during the G20 summit, saying his job is to hold his officers accountable.”