In September 2005 my son was pepper sprayed while demonstrating against neo-nazis. (He was also arrested and held over night, and dragged through the courts system, only to have all charges dropped.)
Of course, I am his father, and biased. But this act was truly outrageous. My son sued the police in small claims court. To add insult to injury the police claimed during the trial, that not only where they justified in pepper spraying him, but that this was a perfect example of the proper use of force in crowd control. There was a video taken of the incident, (click here to see it - you have to wait to approximately 3 minutes in to see the incident itself) and the police claimed that they could use this video as a training video in proper use of pepper spray!
According to the police, my son was being "assaultive" by not quickly enough responding to there order to "back off", that he was "actively resisting" by yelling at them (to stop hurting another - completely non-violent - demonstrator who they had just arrested), and that the situation was fraught because the demonstrators had weapons (the sticks used to hold signs and flags), and violent (when in fact there had been no physical violence until the police showed up.)
If this policy and pattern is allowed to stand then de facto none of us has freedom of assembly and protest in this province. It is all at the discretion of the police.
Unfortunately, my son lost his suit against the police. (Read the very poor judgement here. The judge basically quotes back the police witness as the major part of his opinion.)
Well we all knew the justice system is not just.
I hope to pursue this through other means. I will keep you posted.