G20 CIVIL ACTIONS AND COMPLAINTS AGAINST POLICE AND GOVERNMENTS

G20 CIVIL ACTIONS AND COMPLAINTS AGAINST POLICE AND GOVERNMENTS

We have been contacted by many people interested in holding the police and government institutions accountable for their actions in connection with the G20, including for the mass arrests, detentions, assaults, intimidation, and violations of Charter rights.

There are various options, including:

a) suing the police and the responsible government institutions (individually or as part of a class action);

b) filing a police complaint with the Independent Police Review Director (and/or with another province’s complaint system if an officer from that province was involved);

c) applying to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board if you were injured as a result of a violent crime, such as an assault by the police;

d) filing a Human Rights complaint if your right to equal treatment was denied;

e) participating in any reviews or inquiries that may take place and that allow for public participation;

f) privately laying criminal charges against police officers who may have committed criminal offences;

g) complaining to the United Nations, such as through the Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions, the Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression, or the Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights Defenders; and

h) a variety of political efforts.

The Law Union of Ontario is coordinating some possible legal options with lawyers and with other concerned organizations. The Law Union is also developing some public education initiatives to inform you of your rights and options and how you can pursue a lawsuit or complaint. In the meantime, here is a “to-do list” for anyone who may have grounds for a lawsuit or a complaint and who has not yet consulted with a lawyer about it:

1) Write down everything that you remember about what happened, and when and where it happened, while it is still fresh in your mind. Include as much detail as you can, including specific dates and times of relevant events. Organize this chronologically.

2) Write down any details you have about the police officer(s) involved – badge number (or the absence of any visible badge number), helmet number, name, police force, description of uniform, and any other identifying information – and what the officer(s) did.

3) If you were physically injured or traumatized by what happened to you, or feel unsure about the effects of any trauma you might have experienced:

o see a doctor right away if you haven’t yet;

o take photographs or videos of any visible injuries; and

o write down a list and description of the physical and mental injuries you sustained.

4) Keep a record of all out-of-pocket costs, no matter how trivial (e.g., taxi fare, TTC fare, or vehicle mileage for getting home from the detention centre, getting to or from court, or getting to or from a doctor’s or lawyer’s office; pain medication or wound dressings; uninsured therapy costs, lawyers’ fees, etc.). Keep all receipts.

5) Write down a detailed list of all property that was lost or damaged (clothing, bicycles, backpacks, personal belongings, etc.).

6) Keep track of any employment or other income you have lost as a result of being wrongly detained or as a result of your physical or mental injuries arising from the incident.

7) Write down the names and contact information for any witnesses you know of (whether police or civilians).

8) Email your contact information to MDC by visiting http://movementdefence.org/contact if you would like to be contacted in the future concerning possible legal options.

9) Check back at the MDC web site, http://movementdefence.org, regularly.

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