Zach W; Harrassed and Searched

Name: Zachary W.

Purpose of Attendance

To ensure protection of civil rights, as well as voice my opinion on a number of different foreign trade & labor affairs, health care issues and human rights issues.



Around 3:00pm, I was walking down Mccaul Street, just past Queen St, headed to the Village by the Grange with my partner Raechel. I was among a crowd of 30 or so pedestrians along the street. An officer sitting in his vehicle proceeded to step out, and demanded that I “Put [my] hands on the car.” At this time, and in a very confused tone, I asked the officer if I was being arrested or detained, and on what ground he had the rights to search and detain me. Dressed in what was clearly a black band T-shirt, Green pants and a pair of Doc. Martens, with a sweater wrapped around my waist, but not on, and a simple school-backpack, I was pulled over and illegally detained. Acting cooperatively, I handed my bag to the officer and put my hands on the car. He asked me if I had any identification, to which I replied “No,” because I had left my drivers license, health card and passport safely at home. Upon hearing this, he grabbed both my arms and twisted them behind my back much like a chicken, straining and pulling my left arm all the way up to my neck. He then searched my person without consent, and refused to answer my repeated questions about my rights. After searching me, he removed my wallet, and to my knowledge (what my partner has told me, who was standing no more than three feet away,) looked at it for a split second, snapped it shut, and then barked at me, calling me a “liar.” After this, with a tight grip still on my arm, he forced me into the car without handcuffing me, reading me my rights, or generally informing me I was being either detained or arrested. At this time, my partner called 911 and requested another car come help deal with the situation, and as the officer entered the car, he then proceeded to also call in a squad car. After twenty odd minutes or so of constant questioning, verbal abuse, name calling and provocation, as well as avoiding any questions concerning my rights to legal counsel, his badge number, name, or reason for detainment, he eventually let me go. During my detainment, two other officers verbally abused my partner while she was crying and hyperventilating because of the situation.

Overall Experience & Lessons

The atmosphere was tense from the very moment the riot police came out on Saturday, until I finally, safely arrived home in Oshawa. However, because of this specific incident with three disrespectful, belittling officers, I have a changed perspective on the way our laws work and who they actually protect. I now have a constant fear around seeing police officers, even in my home town of Oshawa. I feel as though I have lost my civil rights, and that we might as well throw the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms right in the garbage, because none of that mattered;  the people who are there to protect these rights violated them indiscriminately. I can only imagine what it must feel like for those trapped in the cages, and can be thankful I wasn’t sent there myself

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