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New Lawsuit Filed Over Police Actions During G20

Seven plaintiffs seek $1.4 million in damages, allege wrongful arrest.

Just over a month ago, on June 26—and one day before the two-year limitation period expired—a lawsuit was filed with the Superior Court of Justice on behalf of seven people arrested during 2010′s G20 summit. Davin Charney, the lawyer who filed the suit, held a press conference this morning announcing the action, flanked by the arrestees he represents. The suit alleges wrongful arrest and illegal detention; the plaintiffs are seeking $1.4 million in damages.

The plaintiffs contend they were arrested based on police profiling rather than any wrongdoing on their parts—picked out for things deemed suspicious on the G20 weekend, like wearing backpacks, or having lawyers’ numbers written on their arms. Once arrested, the plaintiffs claim they suffered further ill-treatment: one, said Charney, was held in cuffs for 20 hours, though they exhibited no violent or threatening behaviour; another, a woman, alleges she was groped by an officer. None were given sufficient food or water, and six of the seven were subject to “unlawful and degrading strip searches…in the context of unlawful arrest I call that sexual assault.” Charney said he would be serving the police with the suit later this morning.

The plaintiffs are from the Hamilton area, according to a press release, and were arrested on Yonge Street after coming out of a pizza shop. According to Canadian Press, the Ontario Independent Police Review Director, which investigates public complaints about the police, “conducted an investigation into the incident and found the complaint ‘substantiated,’” though nothing has yet been proven in court.

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