Toronto cop found guilty of ordering mass arrests appealing G20 protest conviction
Supt. David (Mark) Fenton is seen outside police headquarters in Toronto in an April 13, 2016, file photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel)
Chris Herhalt, CTV Toronto
Published Tuesday, July 26, 2016 12:36PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 26, 2016 3:16PM EDT
A senior Toronto cop found guilty of ordering mass detentions and “kettling” of demonstrators at the 2010 G20 summit in Toronto is appealing his conviction and sentence.
Supt. David (Mark) Fenton was convicted of two counts of unlawful exercise of authority and one count of discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act.
The charges were in relation to mass arrests of protestors in two areas of the city — on The Esplanade and at Queen Street and Spadina Avenue, on June 26 and 27.
The officer with 28 years’ experience in the service ordered protestors and passersby to be arrested during the chaotic weekend where a few masked anarchists caused millions of dollars-worth of damage to property on several downtown streets.
Demonstrators who were detained said some were kept boxed in or “kettled” by baton-wielding officers on the street and exposed to cold, rainy conditions for hours, while others were sent to a temporary detention centre which was roundly criticized for its awful conditions.
Retired Justice John Hamilton sentenced Fenton to a reprimand and forfeiture of 30 paid days back in June.
The prosecutor in the case asked for Fenton to be demoted for a period of one year, a punishment Hamilton dismissed as being too harsh.
In a notice of appeal to the Ontario Civilian Police Commission provided by Fenton’s lawyer, Michael Lacy, they say they will argue the hearing officer made a number of errors in his original finding of guilt.
Fenton’s lawyers argue that the Canadian Civil Liberties Association should not have been given intervenor status in his hearing.
They also say they will argue that Fenton was “acting in good faith and with the safety of the city” when he ordered the mass arrests.
They also say the hearing officer failed to account for “actual availability of shelter and protective clothing” for demonstrators held cold and wet at Queen Street and Spadina Avenue outside during a thunderstorm for several hours on June 27.
Fenton’s lawyers are asking for a new hearing and for Fenton to be found not guilty on all counts.
Failing that, Fenton’s lawyers are asking that Fenton’s punishment be lessened, specifically in relation to the arrests made at Queen Street and Spadina Avenue on June 27.
Fenton is the unit commander for Toronto Police 43 Division in east Scarborough.