Amputee Filing G20 Human Rights Complaint

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John Pruyn – a 57 year old Thorold, Ontario amputee – is filing a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission after an incident during the G20 protests when police tore off his prosthetic leg.

He says it appears he was violated simply for not being able to stand up fast enough for the charging police. He will direct his complaint to why the police failed to accommodate him properly as a disabled individual when he was detained during G20.

The 27-hour detention began with him being handcuffed and dragged on the floor all the way to a paddy wagon as he wasn’t able to walk. Pruyn says the police knew he was disabled because they were the ones who tore off the limb. He has spoken to the Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario Chapter of Amnesty International, and both he and his spouse Susan had attended court hearings by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the National Union of Public and General Employees.

Pruyn has already consulted with an attorney and will be charging officers from the Toronto Police. He’s also hoping for a public inquiry on other G20 detainments and added that he was never even charged by police that day.

The incident started when police approached him and his daughter, Sarah, who were sitting peacefully at Queen’s Park. As he was being aided by Sarah and two other men, police pushed him on his head and arms and accused him of resisting arrest. They then rolled him over, ordering him to walk immediately after tearing his prosthetic leg off. Compounding this treatment, he was told to hop with his hands cuffed behind his back and, when unable to do so fast enough, police then dragged him with his elbows being scraped on the ground.

Pruyn was held in a detention cell, where police refused to return his prosthetic leg because they believed it might use it as a weapon. At the same time, his wife and daughter were detained at another facility in Toronto.

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Photo by Kate Raynes-Goldie