In the face of mounting public pressure, Chief Bill Blair vowed to pursue disciplinary charges against 30 of his officers, including senior commanders, accused of misconduct during the police crackdown against G20 protests nearly two years ago.
Chief Blair will also take the unusual step of appointing retired judges and former Crown attorneys to run the hearings, which are usually adjudicated by a fellow officer, to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest.
And in an about-face, he revealed on Friday the rough number of Toronto Police Service members accused of misconduct – four senior commanders and 28 lower-ranking officers – a statistic the force had previously refused to provide.
The charges were ordered by the Office of the Independent Police Review Director, a provincial agency which earlier this week issued a report accusing police of human-rights violations during the summit.
Because the OIPRD took more than six months to bring charges, they must be reviewed by the civilian board that oversees the police service to decide whether they can proceed.
The board has already approved charges against eight front-line officers. On Friday, Chief Blair asked them to sign off on eight more and said he would seek approval to move forward on others next month.
"I will ensure that the lessons we learned during the G20 are incorporated into our procedures, our training and our future response," the chief, who is not facing any charges himself, said at the board meeting. "I am also fully committed to holding police officers of any rank accountable for misconduct."
He would not divulge the names of the four senior officers facing charges, but said two had subsequently retired from the service.
In its report, the OIPRD identified several police commanders who played key roles at the summit.
There was Superintendant Mark Fenton, who ordered the controversial use of "kettling," or boxing in crowds and not letting anyone leave. Supt. Michael Farrar and Staff Inspector Frank Ruffolo were in charge of the temporary detention centre, where arrestees complained they were given little access to food, medicine and legal counsel. Inspector Gary Meissner used the Long Range Acoustic Device, or sound cannon, as a loudspeaker, once without permission from higher-ups.
Supt. Fenton's lawyer said he understood it would be the TPS's decision whether to lay charges against his client. Insp. Meissner wrote in an e-mail Friday that he was "not in a position to comment." Supt. Farrar and Staff Insp. Ruffolo are retired.
Of eight front-line officers the board has approved for charges, six – Constables Alan Li, Michael Kiproff, Vincent Wong, Blair Begbie, Ryan Simpson and Jason Crawford – are accused of making illegal or unnecessary arrests. Another officer, Constable Michael Martinez, allegedly punched and elbowed someone outside the Novotel hotel on the evening of June 26. Constable Michael Kiproff, meanwhile, is accused of injuring a person he arrested at Queen Street and Spadina Avenue.
Both charges against Constable Kiproff were dismissed June 23, 2014.
The names of officers whose cases have not proceeded past the police board have not been released, but some have become public through other means. Five officers accused of beating up protester Adam Nobody, for instance, have been recommended for disciplinary hearings by the OIPRD.
Editor's Note: This story from our 2012 archives has been updated to reflect the fact that both charges against Constable Michael Kiproff were dismissed June 23, 2014.