Friday, July 9, 2010

Don’t blame the cops for G20 mess

Here’s an excerpt from a recent column by Toronto writer Peter Worthington. He has a fine reputation as an editor, reporter and columnist. While there may be those in the blogosphere who are beating the civil rights drum, Peter puts it in the proper perspective. If you’d like to read the rest of his piece, click here.

"If anything is more misguided and unnecessary than the recent G20 Summit itself, it’s the decision to hold an independent inquiry into police actions that weekend.

A thousand arrests, 263 charged, no one seriously hurt, no police brutality, a serene citizenry, vandalism but no violence. Forget about it.

Oh, the civil liberties activists have their shorts in a knot, but they always do. Ignore them. As for “violence” and “rioting” on Toronto streets during the G20, that’s hyperbole and wishful thinking.

What was loose in Toronto that weekend was some hooliganism and mischief. No blood on the streets, no casualties, no real violence. The Black Bloc agitators smashed and grabbed, but they weren’t after blood. No Tehran here.

As for the occasional journalist being rounded up, into the temporary detention centre — that’s a hazard of the trade. Sure, they bellyache but their editors were probably pleased to have a staff member on the “inside” to report first-hand the horrors faced — like stale cheese sandwiches and insufficient drinking water.

To suggest there was police brutality is again wishful thinking by those who yearn for substance to malign the cops. Yes, some cops over-reacted, or questioned people unnecessarily. Or searched the wrong bag. Or questioned identities. But the city was on high alert for trouble."

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