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.They won't concede it was a mistake to use it at the G20 - being the subject of numerous legal actions that's hardly surprising - but they claim they never plan to use the tactic again,
On the one hand, good that public pressure has made the police bend on a widely condemned policing tactic, but it also just seems like they're throwing the public a bone to try to evade responsibility for the police riot that victimized so many.
And what about other police forces? Will the RCMP and the major city forces across Canada also disavow the tactic?
UPDATE: Another thought, as the tactic was literally found illegal by British courts and the British police now face potentially millions in court costs from lawsuits from those it was used against before being outlawed, perhaps the police simply want to avoid the tactics legality being considered by a court.