Arrested student may sue police

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By Michael Friscolanti and Allan Woods

A Ryerson student who was pinned to the ground and arrested during an anti-Tory protest last month is considering a civil lawsuit against the police.

But since he’s already awaiting a trial date for criminal charges stemming from the rally, he said he’s going to wait until the semester is over before deciding what to do.

“I don’t want let anything interfere with my school,” said Sean Donegan, a first-year urban and regional planning student who also works 25 hours a week at Business Depot on University Avenue. “School’s my top priority.”

The 19-year-old O’Keefe House resident was one of six protesters arrested outside a well-guarded Conservative party police convention at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Oct. 20.

Police say he was one of a horde of Canadian Federation of Student placard-wavers who were nearby when a slew of people invaded the nearby CBC building on Front Street West.

The suit he is contemplating would accuse Toronto police of not giving him the medical supplies needed to tend to a heavily bleeding chin and forehead while he spent a night in 52 Division jail on Regent Street.

The Canadian Federation of Students introduced Donegan to his lawyer, Bob Kellermann. Erin George, chair of CFS-Ontario, said the organization will also help the other five students arrested at the rally cover any costs their legal battles may incur.

“We’ve made a commitment to help them fundraise,” George said. “As far as writing a blank cheque [to cover their costs], the federation can’t do that.”

Donegan is set to return to court Nov. 28 where a judge will set trial date for charges stemming from the rally, which included assault to resists arrest and obstructing police.

Kellermann said the police were out of control that day and he hopes to be able to show that in court.

“The police were trying to protect the Tories and denying the people to march where they wanted to march.”


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