Great story from the G20 summit today, when the Toronto Police put on a display of the dangerous weapons they had confiscated from protestors.
The display was designed to respond to criticism of their heavy-handling of protestors and included a machete and baseball bat to bear spray and crowbars. the police chief particularly drew attention to some chain mail and arrows, which he claimed had been ‘modified to be dipped in a flammable liquid and set ablaze.’
Sadly the arrows belonged to Brian Barrett, who was heading to a role-playing fantasy game when he was stopped. They also confiscated – and displayed – his metal body armour, foam shields and several fake clubs made of plastic tubing covered with foam. And as for the modified, fire-bearing arrows? He had cut the pointy ends off and replaced them with old socks to make them safe.
Now I’m not saying that Role Playing gamers shouldn’t be arrested, but not under that legislation. Offending public decency should do it. Or ‘Needing to get out more’. Although, to be fair to Mr Barret, that was the problem. If he hadn’t gone out he’d have been fine.
As if that wasn’t enough, the police also included two weapons – a crossbow and chainsaw – which they admitted had nothing to do with the summit protests and came from a different incident entirely.The ‘dangerous weapons’ also included bandanas, cycle helmets and tennis balls.Now I’m not an expert on this sort of thing, but how do you hurt someone with a bandana and a tennis ball? I know André Agassi wasn’t fashionable, but he wasn’t dangerous.
There were also some real stuff to be fair, including gas masks, cans of spray paint, a replica gun, saws, pocket knives, chains and handcuffs. Or maybe they were just part of a Zombies v Aliens role playing game.