Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Exclusive: Toronto police swear off G20 kettling tactic

A man sits at Queen and John Sts. in front front of a line of riot police during G20 protests in Toronto on June 26, 2010.

A man sits at Queen and John Sts. in front front of a line of riot police during G20 protests in Toronto on June 26, 2010.

Toronto police will never again use the controversial crowd control technique known as kettling, which was employed for the first and last time in the city’s history during last year’s G20 summit.

The decision was revealed to the Star in a police statement Tuesday, along with the information that two Toronto police superintendents were “responsible” for commanding and controlling G20 policing in the city outside the security fence.

On June 27, the final day of the G20 summit, some 300 protesters and bystanders were boxed in, or kettled, by riot police at Queen St. and Spadina Ave. for about four hours.

Not long after the enclosure, rain began to fall in torrents as some stood shivering in summer dresses and tank tops.

“The crowd control technique implemented at Queen & Spadina on June 27 will not be used again by the Toronto Police Service,” spokeswoman Meaghan Gray said in the statement, a response to a list of G20-related questions sent by the Star.

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