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Bill Blair finally admits that “things were not done well” at the G20 summit

(Image: Ibagli)

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair was initially defensive about Gerry McNeilly’s scathing Independent Police Review report on G20 security, but Blair amended that response in an open letter to the people of Toronto issued Friday. The police chief admitted there were “serious deficiencies” in the force’s handling of protesters: “I fully acknowledge that there were things that were not done well. We have learned from these shortcomings… As the chief of police, I accept responsibility for the actions of the Toronto Police Service and its members.” No, Blair didn’t exactly apologize (as some have insisted he ought to) or offer to step down. But he did recognize there were problems, claimed responsibility and made eight more applications to the Police Services Board to lay disciplinary charges against officers (on top of the hearings already set for eight constables facing unlawful arrest and use of unnecessary force charges). With those misconduct hearings set to be open to the public, and Justice John Morden’s independent civilian review slated for June, we imagine Blair is in for more uncomfortable media scrutiny this summer. [National Post]