Ontario Superior Court Justice David Brown granted a limited injunction Friday allowing officers to use the loud speaker function on the sound cannons (LRads), but not the ear-piercing alert control.
However, about an hour later, Toronto Police and lawyers appeared before the same judge, agreeing to change their operating procedure to allow the Emergency Task Force to use the loud alert mode only in the case of an emergency.
Paul Cavalluzzo, the lawyer for the Canadian Labour Congress and Civil Liberties Association, who brought this before the judge said this makes sense.
“Well, I think what this application shows by both the CCLA and CLC is that they’re accountable to the citizens of Toronto. Police are there to serve and protect us, not to endanger our safety,” the lawyer said.
Police have also agreed to extend the distance between the device and the crowd and if the loud alert function is to be used, a higher senior officer has to approve it.
Toronto Police have four of the LRads. Three are backpack style and one is mounted on a boat.
Meantime, the association said they were caught off guard by the strengthened arrest powers granted to police during the G8 and G20 summits and would have challenged them in court.
The regulation was passed by the Ontario government and gives officers the power to arrest anyone who goes within five metres of the security fences in Toronto if they refuse to identify themselves.
But, Toronto police chief Bill Blair told 680News the law has been on the books since 1939.
“So this is not new powers, it is not sweeping powers, it is powers, which are clearly defined in law in the province of Ontario and they’ve existed for many years.”
Blair added these special arrest powers won’t impact anyone who doesn’t try to force their way into the no-go zone.
Dave Vaysi was one of the first protesters arrested.
He told reporters at Allan Gardens, Friday, what his next step would be.
“I take my civil rights seriously and so I have obtained legal advice about what kind of protest our laws allow and I believe at all times that I was acting legally – then [on Wednesday] I was arrested under a secret law that came out of nowhere. It was passed without any debate and lets the police throw people in jail for almost nothing.”