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Activist Communique: G20 officer accused of beating activist breaks down in court

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The trial of Toronto Police Constable Andalib-Goortani began last week and the Crown has rested its case. The defence has now begun.

Constable Babek Andalib-Goortani -- who was among the more than 90 officers caught not wearing their mandatory police identification at the time -- was charged on December 23, 2010, with assault with a weapon against Adam Nobody. Constable Andalib-Goortani has pleaded not guilty.

Thirty-three-year-old Andalib-Goortani broke down in tears on Monday while on the stand. He explained that he struck Adam Nobody only because he was acting in a violent and erratic way during the June 26, 2013, G20 demonstration at Queen's Park. He described Nobody as strongly resisting arrest as he and fellow officers attempted to handcuff him.

Both sides are in agreement that the arrest was lawful.

At question is whether excessive force was used.

Adam Nobody, aged 30, testified under cross-examination last week that he was not attacking police officers or resisting his arrest, but noted that his body might have contorted in reaction to being struck. "I may have naturally defensively tried to (get away), but it lasted less than two seconds at most," Nobody testified in court.

Last week, lawyers for the police also tried to insinuate that Nobody had brought a homemade Molotov cocktail to the demonstrations, though Nobody asserted that it contained water and whiskey for personal consumption.

Police also allege that Nobody was purposefully trying to whip up the crowd at Queen's Park -- the area specifically dedicated as a free-speech zone -- on Saturday, June 26, 2013.

Adam Nobody suffered a broken nose and cheekbone during the arrest, along with other injuries to his torso. Amateur video shows Nobody being tackled to the ground by five or six police officers.

Complicating matters was the fact that Andalib-Goortani was one of more than 90 officers who removed their mandatory name tags, making the identification of individual officers difficult. It took public pressure to finally identify the officers in question.

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 a total of six different demonstrators.

Early on, the Ontario Special Investigative Unit (SUI) declared that it had no hope of discovering the identities of the police officers in question, as officers were not wearing their manditory badges. 

In fact, on November 25, 2010, the SIU released its findings into who arrested Adam Nobody and Director Ian Scott commented, "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."

But with public and media pressure, the identites of the officers in question became known.

Toronto Police Constable Babek Andalib-Goortani is charged with assault with a weapon. His trial continues. 

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