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Police surround a group of activists during a protest at the G20 Summit in Toronto on Saturday, June 26, The group from Hamilton alleges the police wrongfully arrested them on June 27, -- a day after vandals went on a ram in downtown Toronto -- as they emerged from a Yonge Street restaurant, their lawyer said. They allege they were kept for hours in handcuffs, then held for more than 24 hours at a makeshift detention centre in the city's east end before being released without charge.
One of the plaintiffs also alleges she was sexually assaulted during a roide strip search. In a statement, lawyer Davin Charney said one of the seven asked the reason for their arrest and an officer told them police "would make one up.
Charney said some of the plaintiffs believed they were profiled for arrest because of their appearance, which included having hairy legs. A provincial police watchdog -- the Ontario Independent Police Review Director -- conducted an investigation into the incident and found the complaint "substantiated.
Its report found Const. James Ure wrote in his arrest notes that "all parties appear to be protesters; back packs; clothing and females all have hairy legs. The officer told investigators he jotted down the "hairy legs" note as a general observation, calling unshaven female legs "one indicator Hairy women from west Summitt I associated with protesters down at the G20 that weekend. Investigators disagreed with that explanation, writing that the note lead them to conclude there were "reasonable grounds" to support the discreditable conduct complaint alleging Ure swore at the women, and told them to "shave your legs, you dykes.
Charney said he would provide further details at a news conference at police headquarters on Wednesday when the suit would be served. A police spokesman was not immediately able to say whether any action had been taken against the officer. The statement of claim alleges senior officers were frustrated that front-line officers were not able to stop the vandalism. The officers, including Chief Bill Blair, held a meeting, then gave orders or "authorized more assertive and aggressive police tactics," according to the claim.
The lawsuit, which was filed at the end of June, could be the last one of its kind, given the two-year limitation period. Dozens of officers are facing various disciplinary charges resulting from the summit weekend, including allegations of excessive use of force and illegal arrest. More than 1, people were arrested -- most released without charge -- in one of the largest mass arrests in Canadian history.
In his systemic report, the Hairy women from west Summitt director was fiercely critical of police for riding roughshod over people's rights. However, more than 40 people have been successfully prosecuted for the ram, which included vandals using black bloc tactics to smash windows and attack police vehicles. We welcome your comments. Bell Media reviews every comment submitted, and reserves the right to approve comments and edit for brevity and clarity.
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None of the claims has been proven or tested in any court. Several suits have ly been filed; some have already been settled. Related Stories Woman who played active role in G20 vandalism gets 11 months in jail. Police oversight body failed in review of G20 summit. If you have trouble reading the characters in the picture, click it to see a new one. Guidelines Preference is given to commenters who use real names.
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