TORONTO – The most senior police officer charged over mass arrests made during the Toronto’s G20 summit five years ago has been found guilty on three out of five offences at a disciplinary hearing.
Retired Ontario judge John Hamilton, who had been presiding over the case, found Supt David Fenton guilty of two counts of unnecessary exercise of authority and one count of discreditable conduct.
Hamilton says Fenton is committed to serving the public but has a lack of understanding of the public’s right to protest.
Fenton had pleaded not guilty to five Police Services Act charges stemming from two so-called kettling incidents that occurred over the 2010 summit weekend.
The first took place when Fenton ordered officers to box in protesters in front of a downtown hotel and more than 260 people were arrested and taken to a makeshift processing centre.
The second incident occurred the next day when, six minutes after coming on shift, Fenton ordered police to keep scores of people standing for hours at a downtown intersection despite a severe thunderstorm that left them drenched.
More than 1,000 people were detained over the summit weekend in what is considered the largest mass arrest in Canada’s peacetime history. Most were released without charge.