Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sound cannons at G20 may be stopped by injunction

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association has filed for injunction against the use of the new sound cannons by police at the G20. They might have a good case. The irreparable harm that may be caused in particular, i.e., hearing loss as a result of the use of these weapons is a very compelling factor. Combine that risk of harm with the questions about whether the sound cannons were approved of through proper channels (the Ontario Solicitor General should have approved and tested a new police weapon) and there's a strong argument to be made that these untested, newbie devices should not be used at the G20 in the hands of officers who have only recently been trained on their use. Torontonians are not weapons guinea pigs and police have many other alternative tools at their disposal.

It has been shocking to learn that these sound cannons were purchased in the first place, for use in Toronto now and in the future. It may have been the hurly-burly of the G20 rush planning that led to a hasty and questionable decision. Makes you wonder about where the civilian oversight of this purchase has been and what else we might learn in coming days about other purchases.

Excellent news that this injunction is being sought and the device is being challenged. Hearing is on June 23rd, just a few days before the G20 starts.