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Toronto’s deputy police chief warns protestors to follow the law

Toronto police are urging demonstrators to follow the law ahead of planned protests related to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. 

Deputy Chief Lauren Pogue says demonstrations inside private property, such as malls, and those that block critical infrastructure, such as highways and bridges, are not legal.

She says people can be arrested at the event or in the days after if they cross the line from lawful demonstration to criminality.

This week, police announced they had launched an investigation into an interaction between a demonstrator and another person during a pro-Palestinian protest at a busy Toronto mall last Sunday. 

Pogue says that Toronto has seen 250 protests since the Israel-Hamas war began on Oct.7

She says police have observed that some demonstrations are increasingly being attended by people she described as antagonistic.

The news conference comes more than a week after video circulated online showed a police officer kneeling on the neck and head of someone who attended a protest. Police say they have arrested and charged the person with assaulting and obstructing a peace officer.

Pogue says there will be a visible police protest at demonstrations planned over the coming days. 

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