Two unidentified protestors comfort each other after police surrounded during the G20 Summit in Toronto, June 27, 2010. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP)In response, lawyer Eric Gillespie said the class action would "help protect the basic freedoms of all Canadians" while co-counsel Kent Elson said it could lead to the disclosure of confidential police documents and tapes about what really happened as well as "positive reforms about policing."
To date, the Appeal Court noted, only 16 individuals have brought claims for their detentions and 15 of those have been settled. "It remains apparent that most of the affected individuals are unwilling to devote the time and expense necessary to seek individual relief," the Appeal Court found. "A class proceeding is the preferable procedure for the resolution of the common issues." The lead plaintiffs in the actions are Sherry Good, who was among scores of people police "kettled'' in torrential rain at a downtown intersection, and Thomas Taylor, who represents those sent to the east-end detention centre. Both want damages for false arrest or imprisonment, and violations of their constitutional rights. They maintain a senior officer gave orders for the indiscriminate roundup of anyone present at various downtown locations — including peaceful protesters, bystanders and journalists — enough to warrant class certification. "There was some basis in fact for finding that the individual officer or officers who are alleged to have given orders for mass detentions and arrests did so without regard to whether all of the individuals detained, or detained and then arrested, were implicated in the criminal activity with which the police were concerned," the Appeal Court said. In addition, the court awarded the plaintiffs $315,000 in costs for the certification motion and another $65,000 for the appeal
"Police cannot sweep up scores of people just in the hope that one of the persons captured is a person who they believe is engaged in criminal activity."
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