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List of cases of police brutality in Canada

This is a list of notable cases of police brutality in Canada.


  • 1999: An RCMP constable in Alberta, Michael Ferguson, fatally shot Darren Varley after Varley attacked him in a jail cell. He was convicted of manslaughter in 2004, allowed to serve it under house arrest till 2006 and paroled in 2007, after two months in jail. The courts had decided the mandatory minimum sentence of four years in prison would be cruel and unusual punishment in his case.[1]

British Columbia


  • 1919: in the face of major unrest during the Winnipeg General Strike, the Royal Northwest Mounted Police charged on horseback into a crowd of strikers on June 21, beating them with clubs and firing weapons.[3] This violent action resulted in many injuries and the deaths of two strikers. The day came to be known as "Bloody Saturday".[4]


  • 1995: Shooting death of Dudley George
  • In 2009, a team of two police detectives got into a fight with members of the Khan family in Toronto. They brought an action against the family for assault, but the judge acquitted the Khans in 2013, stating that the officers had used excessive force and fabricated evidence.[5]
  • 2010: mass protests at the G-20 Toronto summit turned violent on June 26 when some demonstrators, used black bloc tactics, leading to widespread property damage. Tear gas was used for the first time in the history of Toronto,[6] being deployed in a few locations by muzzle blasts. Rubber bullets and pepper spray were also used against many protesters.[7][8] Three protestors were confirmed by the Toronto EMS to be injured during the protests,[9] and journalists were among the people who were beaten.[10][11] Const. Babak Andalib-Goortani, the Toronto police officer accused of using excessive force during the arrest of G20 protester Adam Nobody, has been convicted of assault with a weapon for his role.[12]


  • 1931: the Estevan Riot, also known as the Black Tuesday Riot, was a confrontation between the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and striking coal miners at Estevan, Saskatchewan. The RCMP confronted and attempted to break up a procession of several hundred miners and their families. Violence broke out and the police opened fire on the strikers, killing three of them and wounding many others.
  • 1935: when the On-to-Ottawa Trek, a protest by unemployed men, reached Regina, Saskatchewan, they were charged by police, who fired revolvers and threw tear gas bombs into groups of people. A plain clothes policeman was killed, and a Trekker died in hospital from injuries sustained in the riot.
  • 1976: an officer of the Saskatoon Police Service was disciplined for taking an aboriginal woman to the outskirts of the city and abandoning her there.[13] This later appeared to be part of a pattern of "starlight tours" causing a series of deaths of native people, known as the Saskatoon freezing deaths. In 2001 two officers involved in this practice were convicted of unlawful confinement and sentenced to eight months in prison.[14]


See also


  1. "Killer officer walks free", by The Calgary Herald
  2. Inquiry into Dziekanski's Taser-related death resumes Monday March 22, 2009.
  3. Francis, Daniel (1984). "1919: The Winnipeg General Strike". History Today 38: 4–8. 
  4. Bloody Saturday, CBC Television documentary
  5. Judge Slams Police, Acquits Family Of Assault, Huffington Post, 2013-10-23
  6. Kenneth Kidd (2010-06-27). "Tear gas fired in downtown rampage". Toronto: Archived from the original on 30 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  7. "G20 — Toronto 2010". Archived from the original on 24 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  8. the CNN Wire Staff (2010-06-27). "G8 criticizes North Korea, Iran in final statement". Archived from the original on 3 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  9. "Toronto G20 protest turns violent, city venues in lockdown". Archived from the original on 28 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-27. 
  10. Goodyear, Sheena (June 27, 2010). "Canadian journalist arrested, reportedly beaten". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 27 June 2010. 
  11. "Police beat journalist covering G20: report". CBC News. 2010-06-28. Retrieved 26 October 2010. 
  12. Hasham, Alyshah (September 12, 2013). "G20 assault trial: Guilty verdict for officer who hit Adam Nobody". Toronto Star. Retrieved October 20, 2013. 
  13. "Saskatoon police chief admits starlight cruises are not new". Windspeaker (Aboriginal Multimedia Society of Alberta). July 1, 2003. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  14. Brown, DeNeen L. (November 22, 2003). "Left for dead in a Saskatchewan winter". MSN. SASKATOON, Saskatchewan. Archived from the original on Sep 15, 2005. Retrieved 27 November 2010.