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Details of Hamilton Police G20 activity unavailable

Specifics on deployment of Hamilton police officers in Toronto during the G20 are not available as several investigations into police behaviour at the summit get underway.

Meanwhile, Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit continues narrowing down details of five cases of serious injury involving police during the summit weekend.

Hamilton sent 88 public order, or riot squad, officers to the June 26 to 27 international summit. Some of the officers supported security efforts within a fence surrounding the Toronto Convention Centre, while others were moved around the city by Toronto Police Service to support the local police service’s riot squad.

Police have come under scrutiny for their crowd control tactics and widespread arrests of protestors. It’s not yet clear whether Hamilton police officers were involved in any of the alleged incidents.Meaghan Gray, public information officer for the Toronto Police Service, said Chief Bill Blair has announced a Summit Management After Action Review Team to assess strengths and weaknesses of G20 security plans and their execution.

She said the Toronto Police Services Board has launched an Independent Civilian Review of police behaviour at the G20. The review is expected to be completed within 12 weeks. “Details with respect to specific events or deployment will not be discussed at this time,” Gray said.

Ontario’s Special Investigation Unit is looking into five incidents where civilians were seriously injured during interaction with police at the G20. But the provincial oversight agency can only investigate cases involving Ontario police. Any officers from out of province providing security support at the summit would not fall under the SIU’s mandate.

Spokesperson Monica Hudon confirmed the SIU is investigating four incidents from Saturday, June 26 and one incident from Sunday, June 27. In the four Saturday cases, 23 witness officers have been designated. But only one of the incidents has a subject officer designated, and the officer under investigation is from the Toronto Police Service.

The SIU is still working to identify the subject officers in Saturday’s other three cases. In the case from Sunday, June 27, the SIU has identified five witness officers and one subject officer, from the Toronto Police Service. It’s unclear whether any witness officers are from the Hamilton Police Service.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association is calling for an independent inquiry into police actions at the G20, focusing on a few specific incidents including: dispersal of protestors at the demonstration site in Queen’s Park on  June 26; detention and arrests on the Esplanade on June 26; arrests and police actions outside the Eastern Avenue detention centre on Sunday, June 27 and detention and arrest of individuals at Queen Street West and Spadina Avenue on June 27.

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