In the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

Published: July 2nd 2010
in News » Local

Sammy Katz live on CP24
Pic: screenshot


He said that the situation was stalemated until he remembered that he had spoken to someone from CP24 a few weeks previously and the number was still in his phone. He called her and she placed him on the news. He also spoke with the VP of CTVglobemedia. They called Mayor David Miller and the integrated security unit. No one was talking, including Police Chief Blair. “(CP24) were the ones who were making all the phone calls and putting pressure on the police.”


After an hour or so of media pressure, police brought in TTC charter buses and announced (the first statement to the crowd in four hours) that they should all be happy as they were still going to be arrested but at least they would be dry soon. Everyone began to cheer. Then, as mysteriously as it began, 20 minutes later everyone was let go.


Upon being questioned, Chief Blair insisted that police had given everyone in the area three warnings to disperse before corralling the crowd. Not so, said Katz. “There was no warning for people to leave the area. If there was, bystanders, people walking their dogs, would not have been caught in that.”


Still, he said that the four hours braving the elements has not shaking his confidence in the police. Rather, he blames the G20 summit for forcing Toronto to deal with circumstances the city was just not prepared for.


“We’ve never had real riot in the city of Toronto. For their first experience, police did a great job. I think a lot of people are upset after Sunday. I think the public is left wondering. I think they got their days mixed up. What happened on Sunday should have happened on Saturday. (On Saturday) they should have been mass arresting the Black Bloc, cornering them, whatever methods they had.”


Katz understands why the mayor and the police chief didn’t respond right away on Sunday. He even realizes that police did their best, but he is still not satisfied. “We’re in a crowd of hundreds of people and we’re going to be taken to who knows where. It was just really a cause for a lot of anxiety. I was just there to take pictures and I was just there with a lot of other bystanders.”


He still doesn’t believe it happened. His role in telling the public about what was taking place, calling CP24 and being put on air, then later appearing live on TV, seems surreal to him.


“I hope that my talking to CP24 really did have an effect. It seemed like it did,” he said. “If that’s what really got us out of there then it was really the right decision.”


He added that he only began to go through his phone after he realized people were purposely lining up to get arrested.


“This wasn’t the police telling everybody ‘Stand in a line, you’re going to be arrested,’ people were just wanting to leave,” he said. “I did nothing wrong. I wasn’t going to walk with my hands in the air and have my face put to the ground to have a criminal record. I’ve never committed a criminal act in this country or any country. I wasn’t going have one (Sunday). I guess that was a smart move, you could say on my part, to contact members of the media.”

Related articles: (G20, G-20, Sammy Katz, Black Bloc, explosives)

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