The Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 10, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Supreme Court sets rules on arrests in case of detained Ontario protester

The unanimous decision says such an arrest is not justifiable

The Supreme Court of Canada says police don’t have the power to arrest anyone acting lawfully simply to prevent a possible outbreak of violence or disorder.

The unanimous decision says such an arrest is not justifiable in cases where someone has not and is not about to commit an offence, and there are less intrusive means available to police to keep the peace.

Today’s ruling stems from a case when Ontario police arrested Randy Fleming at a counter-protest over an Indigenous land dispute in 2009, even though he had not committed any offence.

Fleming successfully argued at trial that police unlawfully detained him, used excessive force and violated his charter right to free expression.

The Ontario Court of Appeal subsequently ruled that police had the power to arrest Fleming, but ordered a new trial on the question of whether excessive force had been used.

In the ruling today, the Supreme Court upholds the original trial judge’s decision, concluding Fleming’s arrest was not authorized and there was no justification for ordering a new trial.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

$30,000 over 30 weeks for local causes

Send us your good stories and you could win money for your favourite cause

Tap Truck Okanagan launches as first location in Canada

The business is built on a restored 1957 Chevy panel van and ready to serve craft beer on tap, wine or cider

Golden’s pool to not open for 2020 season due to COVID

The tough decision was made on June 2 after council was presented with a variety of scenarios

Golden to host “Unity for the People” march in solidarity with George Floyd protests

The march will seek to educate the community on local and national injustices.

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Most Read