By Mike Morris
As the 2011 G20 Summit came up, people at an Ontario college said police brutality, during the 2010 Summit protests in Toronto, was excessive.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to meet with G20 leaders in the 2011 Summit, so it is very likely that protestors will be organized once again. The 2010 protests started with protestors smashing windows, destroying police cars, and escalated to police using rubber bullets and battons.
When asked for their opinion of how Toronto police handled the protests, Loyalist College staff, and students, had a negative opinion of police brutality during the G20 rioting. Eighteen-year-old Cameron Herrema, of Loyalist Police Foundations, thought of the brutality as unjust.
“The level of brutality was unacceptable,” said Herrema, saying it didn’t look right at all.
James Struthers, a 20-year-old stock clerk, called the actions of the police unnecessary. He went on to say that people have the right to protest. Twenty-year-old Melisa Owens, of Loyalist College Nursing, said what the police did was unecessary. She felt that the situation could have been handled differently. Nick Whaley, a 21-year-old mechanic and student, felt the rioting was taken a little overboard. Whaley accused the media of over-blowing the scenario, and added that people assumed the worst was to come of the rioting.
“I guess it went a little overboard,” said Dan Brookhouse, a 56-year-old employee of the Loyalist Print Center.
With the popular opinion, of police brutality at the summit, being a negative one, the public image of the Toronto Police was damaged from the rioting, said staff and students.