G20: Peaceful Protestors Allege Police Brutality in Two Lawsuits

Press Conference
11 a.m.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
In front of the Toronto Police Service (TPS) Headquarters
40 College Street, Toronto ON

March 20, 2012 - Nikos Kapetaneas and Caitlin Morgan were peacefully protesting at Queen’s Park on Saturday June 26, 2010 during the G20. They were sitting on the ground with a small group of people. That’s when, says Mr. Kapetaneas, “we were attacked by the Blue Bloc”.

In two separate $25,000 lawsuits filed in the Toronto Small Claims Court, the couple claim that riot police wearing gas masks ran at them and attacked a peaceful group with batons, pepper spray, kicks and punches.

Kapetaneas was kicked in the back of the head by an officer who could not immediately be identified because he had removed his name tag. The same officer then knocked Morgan over with a heavy kick to her side. Both were struck with batons and further assaulted as they tried to flee the onslaught.

After the incident, Kapetaneas filed a complaint with the Ontario Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD), who found that the force used against Kapetaneas was excessive. The OIPRD was also able to identify the TPS officer as P.C. Oliver Simpson. In a separate OIPRD investigation, Simpson was also found to have used excessive force during the arrest of Adam Nobody (see link here).

The claims of Kapetaneas and Morgan allege assault, battery, intimidation, negligence, and breaches of the Charter of Rights including their right to freedom of expression. Their claims are backed up by strong evidence. A photo taken by Richard Lautens of the Toronto Star captured officer Simpson kicking Kapetaneas in the back of the head . The photo also provides evidence that officer Simpson is not wearing a name tag as required by TPS policy. A video of the assault was posted on youtube.

The two lawsuits further claim that the entire police operation of forcing people from the so called ‘Free Speech Zone’ at Queen’s Park was unlawful. “Thousands of peaceful protestors were subjected to police brutality and forced to flee under threat of unlawful police violence” said their lawyer, Davin Charney.

For more information contact Davin Charney
Phone: 647-342-7334
Cell: 226-747-2317
Email: davin@charneylaw.ca