Toronto (a.k.a. Accordion City)

How Many Cops Does It Take to Write a Jaywalking Ticket?

Typically, one – but during the G20, with heightened security turning Toronto into “Torontonomo Bay”, it takes ten.

We were sitting on the patio at The Rhino (Queen Street West, west of Dufferin) when a guy started calling out to the patio-dwellers, announcing that 4 cops were writing him a jaywalking ticket:

01 g20 cops

One of his friends was wearing an Anti-Flag t-shirt, another wore a t-shirt with the words “Action Now” and another was wearing an anarchist-themed T-shirt. They looked like the protester type, which probably drew the cops’ attention.

He committed Big Mistake Number One: he got a call-and-response going with the bar patrons on the patio: “What do we say to the cops?” “FUCK YOU!

02 g20 cops

At this point, the cops started getting on their cellphones and called for backup (a particularly interesting thing to see, having just come from a conference on the iPhone):

03 g20 cops

The backup came remarkably quickly. It couldn’t have been more than a few minutes before 6 more bicycle cops arrived to form a phalanx around the jaywalker and his cohort.

04 g20 cops

Take a close look at the panniers on the back of the cops’ bikes: those are riot helmets. These guys are ready for some serious G20 hellzapoppin’ action. So this is what a billion dollars’ worth of security investment buys you:

05 g20 cops

In the end, the cops showed great restraint, considering the circumstances and the high emotions, letting our young anarchist friend off with a ticket.

You’ll probably see a lot more photos of this incident. A number of people and passers-by, upon seeing the commotion, whipped out cellphones and cameras and shot still photos and video.

Welcome to Torontonomo Bay!