Mayor Miller decries G20 violence, lauds police
Toronto Mayor David Miller decried the unprecedented level of violence that erupted on city streets over the weekend suggesting that federal officials ought to have heeded City Hall's suggestion to hold the G20 summit at Exhibition Place.
Some businesses were trashed and property destroyed – including police and media vehicles – as several protests rolled through Toronto on both Saturday and Sunday.
"From the beginning the city said it would be appropriate to host this event at exhibition place and that's for the simple reason: it's self-contained," Miller told a news conference Monday.
"That would have lessened the impact on Toronto whether that would have prevented people who wanted to come to Toronto simply to commit violent acts, I think is debatable, but it certainly would have lessened the impact on downtown Toronto.
"That was our position and I think both ahead of time and in hindsight that would have been the right decision."
Miller praised police for showing restraint while dealing with raucous crowds.
"If you think of the impossible job those police officers had when people are literally fighting and in demonstration, seeking to use innocent people as a cover for their activity, it's a very, very difficult job," he said.
"I felt the police distinguished themselves in that job as best anyone could expect.
"They acted with professionalism and with respect for people's rights to lawfully demonstrate while trying to keep the peace."
Miller suggested that those who felt they had been mistreated by police voice their concerns through processes set up to handle such criticisms.
"There are some concerns people have raised. Fortunately we have civilian accountability and oversight. The Toronto Police Services Board for example is meeting tomorrow," he said.
"There is a process for complaints, that's the rule of law and people are able to complain."