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

UPDATE: Arrest made in Maple Ridge stabbing

The incident took place in front of The Emerson

No cause identified for gas station fire in west Maple Ridge

Recycling truck damaged after blaze started in cab

Union protests rising violence in B.C. prisons

Noon-hour event at Alouette Correctional Centre for Women

Maple Ridge’s anti-panhandling bylaw gets final OK

Council votes 6-1 to ban aggressive begging

VIDEO: Canadian allergists’ group wants Benadryl behind the counter due to side effects

Some doctors say the medication is over-used because of its easy availability

Yelling at your dog might hurt its long-term mental health: study

Researchers find dogs trained using negative reinforcement are more ‘pessimistic’

Vancouver Island soap company releases Lucky Lager beer soap

Beer-infused olive oil soap comes out just in time for holiday shopping

Jagmeet Singh says he’ll vote against throne speech if NDP requests not met

Singh is to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday

Community uses loophole to paint 16 rainbow crosswalks after B.C. council says no

So far 11 rainbows are painted and five planned, all since council denied the first proposal in September

Workers’ camp at LNG facility in Kitimat takes shape

Extensive worker camp now being assembled

Former B.C. youth pastor guilty on one of five sexual assault allegations

Judge cites reasonable doubt in finding Cloverdale couple not guilty of majority of charges

238 and counting: Vancouver gelato shop sets Guinness World record for most flavours

Vince Misceo has come up with 588 different flavours over the decades

Most Read