In this week's saga to identify the police officer(s) who beat demonstrator Adam Nobody - and hold Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair accountable for the actions of his officers - Toronto police now claim they know the names of the officers involved and who had witnessed Nobody's take down and subsequent beating at Queen's Park on Saturday June 26, 2010.
Adam Nobody (yes, his real name) was participating in the G20 Summit protests that shook Toronto in late June of this year. I have included video of his takedown by police at the bottom on this article. Please note that Adam Nobody claims he received the worst beating afterwards.
The above image released by www.G20justice.com is one of the officers who allegedly beat Adam Nobody. You will note that he was badgeless and his identity is still unknown to the public, but he was hopefully one of the officers disciplined and docked a day's pay for doing so. Police will not release his or any name(s) until (if) he is criminally charged.
Now that police are able to identify which officer(s) beat Adam Nobody, the Toronto Police Special Investigation Unit (SIU) can now continue its investigation into his beating and determine if criminal charges can be laid against the officer(s) involved. The maximum penalty under the Police Act is loss of employment.
The next move is clearly in the hands of the ISU and then Chief Bill Blair.
Adam Nobody launched a formal complaint regarding how he was treated by police - after the initial takedown at Queen's Park he alleges he was subjected to a vicious beating by undercover officers.
According to an interview Nobody did with the Toronto Star where he was reviewing evidence of the beatings to assist in the SIU investigation - Creator only knows how hard that must have been - he said, "These are the two men that brought me between the Paddy-wagons and repeatedly kicked me in the face. The one in the white shirt is the one that was standing on my face after they stopped kicking me, the moustached man was searching my bag at the time.''
The SIU won't reveal the names of these two subject officers. But the Star has been told that one of them is Det. Const. Todd Story - the same person who alleged that Nobody assaulted him on June 27, according to the charge sheet. Nobody was already in custody on June 27."
Nobody's case came to the public's attention as part of six different SIU investigations into police behaviour at the G20 Summit protests on June 26, 2010 at different downtown locations, based on complaints raised by 6 different demonstrators.
On November 25, 2010, the SIU released its findings and Director Ian Scott commented (regarding Nobody's case), "In my view, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that any identifiable officer committed a criminal offense in relation to the injuries received by the complainant. The complaint involves two allegations of assault by police officers occurring in quick succession. The first relates to the conduct of the officers at the original arrest scene.''
No officers were charged with any breach of the Police Act for their involvement or conduct during the G20 Summit protests from the SIU's findings but the SIU did find evidence that excessive force was used in two cases - including Nobody's arrest - but could not identify the officers involved.
It in fact concluded that it lacked sufficient corroborating evidence when probing the six specific complaints against officers who allegedly used excessive force against demonstrators on June 26, 2010.
While Chief Blair first believed the SIU investigation and report to be an open and shut case, repeated questions and new evidence has kept the SIU investigation open, including pressure from Adam Nobody himself. Nobody did accept an apology from Chief Bill Blair and has asked for accountability and justice.
In an interview Wednesday, Police Chief Bill Blair said he was doing "everything he can" to cooperate with three independent investigations into possible police misconduct during the G20 Summit protests.
I should note here that regarding another inquiry into G20 policing by the Ontario Ombudsman - notably the 5 metre rule that never existed in the first place - he refused to cooperate, so I'm not what the word "everything" means to him or how sincere that statement really was.
"It is the responsibility of the chief of police for the discipline and conduct of officers," said Blair. "I think it's important that the public be assured that we're all taking this very seriously."
Defending his chief, Toronto's deputy mayor, Doug Holyday, added, "We should be paying more attention to the vandals and thugs who tried to wreck our city."
In a Wednesday December 8, 2010, press release by the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) to Toronto Police Union President Mike McCormack - Union President to Union President -President Sid Ryan stated, "I'm calling on McCormack, in his role as president of the association, to take action to actively advocate for the identification of the officers involved. As a union leader, it would be important for him to use his authority to disassociate reputable police officers from the actions of the few."
"When police remove their identification, hide their faces, and use brute force to terrorize citizens, they become an illegal paramilitary force. This constitutes such a serious threat to democracy and the safety of citizens as to warrant the full cooperation of McCormack and his members."
As I finish writing this at 3:30 pm, I would like to note he current Toronto Star poll question is" Should Police Chief Bill Blair resign over the controversial takedown by police of a G20 protester? with 65% of respondents voting YES and 35% of respondents voting NO.
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