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.

Just Posted

Hagensborg Water District ratepayers vote to dissolve district

In a close vote of 68 to 63, ratepayers have chosen to dissolve the water district

Bella Coola residents rely on food bank support

Your volunteers at the food bank work year-round, but are especially busy at Christmas

Nations coming together: Haida pole raised at opening of Heiltsuk Big House

‘Haida/Heiltsuk Peace Pole’ part of ceremony marking return of spiritual centre in Bella Bella

Nimpkish back in service while NSW undergoes repairs

The Northern Sea Wolf sustained damage to its propellers from a log strike in November

B.C. forest industry aid on the way, Doug Donaldson says

Layoffs focus of B.C. legislature’s final day of 2019

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

VIDEO: John Lennon’s iconic Rolls Royce rolls into Vancouver Island college for checkup

Royal BC Museum, Camosun College and Carriageworks Restorations come together to care for car

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Trustees ask for more help after tearful meeting on B.C. school’s ‘toxic’ stench

Enforcement has ‘no teeth,’ school trustee says, while kids become sick

Most Read