Justifying the harsh handling of protesters at the G-20 summit this weekend, Toronto police invited journalists to a viewing of dangerous confiscated weapons, including foam swords, sock-headed arrows and a suit of scale mail. Did someone call forth a flame bolt?
The 2010 G-20 financial summit in Toronto, Canada attracted more than its fair share of protesters over the weekend, and the Toronto Police were on point, nipping violence in the bud, stopping demonstrations before they started, and zealously attempting to maintain the peace during a highly volatile situation.
Some would say they were a bit overzealous.
Over the course of two days, the Toronto Police arrested more than 900 individuals, including several members of the news media (never a good idea), and confiscating a wide assortment of dangerous and not-so-dangerous weaponry.
Twenty-five-year-old landscaper Brian Barrett was heading to a live-action role-playing game at Centennial Park when police detained him, confiscating his gear but letting him go free.
His gear next appeared as part of a police display, demonstrating to journalists just how much danger was present during the G-20 summit. During the demonstration, Police Chief Bill Blair singled out Barrett's safety arrows - normal arrows tipped with pool noodle covered in socks - as devices meant to be soaked in flammable liquid and set on fire.
Also on display were a pair of foam shields, several 'swords' made from PVC tubing and foam, and a lovely set of scale mail. Mr. Barrett was taken aback by the sight of his armour displayed beneath a pair of machetes, and worries that folks who see him in his gear will now associate him with some of the G-20 summit's real violent criminals.
Of the remaining items in the display, a crossbow and a chainsaw have been confirmed by police to be completely unrelated to the protests.
The rest of the items, which included a staple gun, bandannas, a skateboard, goggles and bicycle helmets, were all completely legitimate, if a bit silly.
‘Weapons' seized in G20 arrests not what they seem [The Globe and Mail - Thanks Eric!]