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article imageToronto Police Chief Blair issues statement on G20 investigation

By KJ Mullins     Dec 3, 2010 in Crime
Toronto - Last week Toronto police Chief William Blair issued a statement concerning the Special Investigation Unit's conclusion of their investigation of the G20 Summit and the police force including questioning the evidence that was used.
The SUI had concluded that there were no grounds to lay criminal charges against any officers in the cases that they were investigating.
At that time Blair was quoted as saying, “The SIU also went to the unprecedented step of directing people to a YouTube video. SIU Director Ian Scott said, in his news release about the fourth case, ‘the first allegation is corroborated by a video recording that was uploaded onto Youtube."
Today Chief Blair released another statement [PDF doc.] about an interview that took place on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning dealing with the six allegations against police officers for actions during the G20 Summit.
Blair said that during the interview he indicated concern over a YouTube video that had been used by the SIU to corroborate findings of excessive use of force. Blair said that the video had been forensically examined by his officers and found to be two separate video segments that had a missing five seconds of audio and video.
"My language indicated my belief that this gap may have been deliberate and done with an intent to mislead. I wish to make it clear that, notwithstanding there was a five−second gap, there is no evidence to suggest this was done with any intent to mislead. I regret the impression my comments may have created.
In an effort to demonstrate the potential significance of the missing audio and video, I said police were attempting to arrest an armed criminal and that the missing video images might have shed light on the reasons force was used. This statement created a false impression that I wish to clarify. I have no evidence that he was armed or violent and all charges against the injured man have been withdrawn. I regret the false impression that my comments may have created and apologize to Mr. Nobody."
Chief Blair went on in today's statement to say that he and the Toronto Police Service are committed to accountability for their actions during the G20. A website was created for the G20 Investigative Unit asking for public information on any offenses they believe were committed. Those complaints are now being investigated by the Professional Standards Unit.
"We conducted our own Professional Standards reviews of other disciplinary matters, such as the wearing of nametags during the G20. We have taken that investigation far beyond the complaints we received. Approximately 100 officers are being investigated."
Blair assures that police offices who committed misconduct will be held accountable.
"It had been my intent to ensure all of the facts are available to the many G20 investigations and reviews currently underway," Blair concluded today's statement with, "Unfortunately, my remarks achieved the exact opposite and I deeply regret any confusion my comments may have created."
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