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Activist Communique: Toronto Police Officer Acquitted of G20 Assault on Dorian Barton

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On Friday May 31, 2013, Ontario Superior Court Justice M. Gregory Ellies found Toronto Police Constable Glenn Weddell not guilty of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon in regards to the alleged beating of Dorian Barton. The trail was by judge alone.

The alleged assault took place three years ago during the G20 Summit protest in Toronto back in June 2010; which resulted in the arrest of over 1,000 people and was the largest mass arrest in Canadian history.

Weddell was the first police officer to face trial stemming from public complaints of excessive force and assault towards individuals who were at Queen’s Park on Saturday June 26, 2010, for the G20 Summit demonstrations.

Barton was arrested -- and allegedly beaten by police -- before being taken to the Eastern Avenue Detention Centre where he was held for a total of thirty hours.

At first, it was Barton who was charged with obstructing a police officer and unlawful demonstration, but these charges were one of the first to be dropped at an August 23, 2010 court appearance.

Among the injuries Barton alleged he sustained at the hands of the Toronto police were a shattered upper right arm.

He did receive some medical attention during his incarceration at the Eastern Avenue Detention Centre, though he had to wait for hours in excruciating pain from that broken arm.

Photo and video evidence does not show Barton being struck as the line of sight is obscured by a line of riot police.

Eye witness testimony from Andrew Wallace who was taking pictures of the demonstration as Barton was told the judge he saw Weddell emerge from a line of riot police to viciously hit Barton with his shield and baton, completely without provocation.

But Weddell denied using any force against Barton, stating in his defense that he barely even remembered the encounter and only touched Barton to help him to his feet after he tripped.

Judge Ellies stated, “I believe him when he says he did not strike Mr. Barton with his shield and knock him to the ground.”

It was this lack of evidence that led to Weddell’s acquittal. The case was twice dealt with through Ontario’s Special Investigative Unit. The trial lasted a week.

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