Posted: Friday, 25 June 2010
TORONTO - Toronto’s streets will be safer this weekend, as the result of a court ruling earlier today that forced Toronto police to adopt safer operating procedures for their new LRADs (Long Range Acoustic Devices), also known as sonic cannons.
A Toronto court judge granted an injunction against the Toronto Police Force, preventing them from using the “alert”, or sonic beam function of the LRADs because their operating procedures failed to guarantee the devices could be used without hurting people. That injunction was later lifted when Toronto police agreed to adopt the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) operating procedures, which the judge found to be safer.
Ken Georgetti, President of the Canadian Labour Congress calls today’s ruling a clear-cut victory for public safety.
“By going to court, we forced both the Toronto Police and the OPP to come up with safer operating procedures for these new and, as we now know, potentially harmful crowd control devices. Both police forces were forced to amend their existing procedures numerous times while we had them in court, and only at the last minute did the OPP come up with something that satisfied a judge. Toronto’s streets will be much safer for everyone this weekend as a result. It’s too bad we had to go to court to get this done,” said Georgetti.
Georgetti wants police to voluntarily refrain from using, or better still, disable the pain-causing alert function of the LRADs during the G20 weekend. Even though the OPP guidelines were found reasonably safe, officers have had little experience using the devices and just one day to learn the new operating guidelines.
The Canadian Labour Congress is the lead organizer of the “People First!” rally and march, which will be the largest protest during the Toronto G20 Summit. It starts at 1:00 on Saturday on the south lawn of Queen’s Park and then takes to the streets north of the downtown security zone.
The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.2 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada’s national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 130 district labour councils. Web site: www.canadianlabour.ca
Contact: Jeff Atkinson – 613-863-1413 or email@example.com