G20 cop violated protester’s rights, appeals court finds

Police are ordered to pay $10,000 to manhandled demonstrator

“This ain’t Canada right now,” Sgt. Charlebois said to Paul Figueiras.

The incident that happened during the 2010 tumultuous G20 in Toronto was settled in a lower court yesterday. Figuerias and his friends were protesting animal rights during the G20. A group of York Regional police officers told the group of protestors to submit to search if they wished to continue protesting.

Figueiras refused and Charlebois grabbed him and pushed him along while saying, “Move along.” The incident was caught on camera.

Originally in lower court, Ontario Superior Court Justice Frederick Myers found police had acted lawfully.

The Appeals Court  then disagreed.

“The actions taken by Sgt. Charlebois and his team were not reasonably necessary and had little, if any, impact in reducing threats to public safety, imminent or otherwise,” court said.

The court found the officers could ask to screen the protesters only if they were at an airport or courthouse. Instead they did it in a place where they didn’t have authority.

The appeal court found the officer committed battery when Charlebois manhandled Figueira, the court had concluded. The police are to pay $10,000 to Figueira in legal fees.