Toronto cop charged with assaulting Nobody at G20

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Unionist
Toronto cop charged with assaulting Nobody at G20

Finally...

Unionist

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/toronto-police-offi... & Mail:[/url]

Quote:

A Toronto police officer has been charged with assault in relation to the arrest and alleged beating of a G20 protester.

Constable Babak Andalib-Goortani was charged Tuesday with assault with a weapon, the Special Investigations Unit announced in a statement.

Video footage shows protester Adam Nobody being taken to the ground and arrested at Queen’s Park on June 26. Mr. Nobody suffered a broken nose and shattered cheek.

 

Polunatic2

Hell hath surely frozen over. Wait, that'll be if and when a conviction comes. 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/14-officers-at-g20-... cops were involved in the assault.[/url] Only one was charged. I guess the other 13 were trying to restrain him at the time.

sanizadeh

M. Spector wrote:

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/14-officers-at-g20-... cops were involved in the assault.[/url] Only one was charged. I guess the other 13 were trying to restrain him at the time.

Yep, the boys ratted out the only one who was an ethnic minority. He didn't belong, you know.

Quote:

During that investigation, even though two officers designated as subject officers refused to be interviewed, the Toronto police gave the name of an officer who identified Const. Babak Andalib-Goortani in the video.

 

Stargazer

This is standard practice, something I don't think too many people actually know. The police will never rat out one of their own. They are no better than a violent gang. They just have massive amount of funds and a good lobbying group.

 

How is it they are not compelled by law to give evidence against another officer? Why are they subject to different laws? Most of all, why do we put up with this and let silly diversions keep us from discussing this issue fully? There is no need for "civility' when you are up against on of the most powerful groups in society.The police do not need those on the left protecting them from words. That was an attempt at silence, and should never be encouraged.

Expressions of anger should be welcomed, not shunned. If you are not angry then there is something very very wrong.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

It is all well and fine that a single officer has been singled out - I will be happier when those higher up on the food chain and their political masters are also facing charges.

torontoprofessor

Yes, finally. I wonder if, having been singled out by another police officer, he'll spill the beans.

milo204

hopefully this is an initial step and more are to follow, including for the other cops who pretended they had no idea what was going on and suppressed evidence and generally screwed up the investigation.

WilderMore

Should we read anything into the fact the only officer charged is a POC?

Unionist

WilderMore wrote:

Should we read anything into the fact the only officer charged is a POC?

How do you know that?

 

WilderMore

Babak is a common Persian given name. He's on the video tackiling or beating Nobody along with several other other non-POC officers.

 

Unionist

I think one should be careful about [url=http://www.crarr.org/?q=node/440]drawing conclusions from people's names[/url], or language, or nationality.

 

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Agreed Unionist, not sure where this Wild one is going with this one.  Seems like a slippery slope.  Thanks for being here Unionist.

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Unionist wrote:

I think one should be careful about [url=http://www.crarr.org/?q=node/440]drawing conclusions from people's names[/url], or language, or nationality.

 

Agreed, though the conclusion might not be about anything he might have done, but regarding others' behaviour toward him. In that case, I think it is valid.

I meant - don't conclude from a person's name that they are a person of colour. Or that they are of Persian origin. Or anything at all. That's all I meant - I wasn't talking about anyone's behaviour. Did you read my link?

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

I think one should be careful about [url=http://www.crarr.org/?q=node/440]drawing conclusions from people's names[/url], or language, or nationality.

 

Agreed, though the conclusion might not be about anything he might have done, but regarding others' behaviour toward him. In that case, I think it is valid (and that's what I assumed Wild was implying).

When I heard the name I also wondered if he might not be a scapegoat for something others are just as guilty of. From what I heard on CBC the cops all declined to identify anyone including themselves.

With the exception of course of the one officer who will probably pay the biggest price by identifying him.

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Unionist wrote:

I think one should be careful about [url=http://www.crarr.org/?q=node/440]drawing conclusions from people's names[/url], or language, or nationality.

 

Agreed, though the conclusion might not be about anything he might have done, but regarding others' behaviour toward him. In that case, I think it is valid.

I meant - don't conclude from a person's name that they are a person of colour. Or that they are of Persian origin. Or anything at all. That's all I meant - I wasn't talking about anyone's behaviour. Did you read my link?

Yes, and yes, I thought that might have been what you meant. I was more making the point to bring it back to Wild's point, and where he might have been going with it - because as I said, I thought the same thing when I first heard the news.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

And reading for context always helps!  :)

Unionist

Oh - ok, I see. Well, on his point, the police forces in various cities are doing all they can to recruit minorities of various kinds. I'm not sure what kind of message anyone would be trying to send by picking on a racialized member of the police as a scapegoat - if that's what Wild's point was? From my viewpoint, there were only two "colours" in the G8/G20 confrontation: the People and the Power.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Ya, I'm not liking the wordplay either. 

 

Sooooooo, does anyone have a link with the POC in the video???

6079_Smith_W

@ Unionist

True that. On the other hand, top level policy doesn't always filter down to the rank and file, and if they were in a situation where they needed a scapegoat, who might the be most likely choice?

But I'm not even seriously speculating that this is what happened here. I'm just thinking it's not that outlandish that it might happen in certain circumstances.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

 if they were in a situation where they needed a scapegoat, who might the be most likely choice?

 

There we go, starting to come around.

Bacchus

Given that the SIU has no jurisdiction over non-ontario based police, lots of the charges will never be investigated. That and they can only investigated offenses ending in serious injury or death which limits them also.

 

This might be the best they can do.

sanizadeh

Unionist wrote:

I meant - don't conclude from a person's name that they are a person of colour. Or that they are of Persian origin.

Don't know if he is a POC, but his first and last names are Persian all right. True, in the G20 case it should be cops vs. people regardless of the skin color, however I can't stop wondering why lately there have been so many cases of formal charges against cops of ethnic minority background (two Asian cops last time), while in most cases clips of police brutality  show white/Canadian cops. I guess the white cops are harder to identify, or perhaps the reflection from their blue eyes blurs the photos.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

sanizadeh wrote:

Unionist wrote:

I meant - don't conclude from a person's name that they are a person of colour. Or that they are of Persian origin.

Don't know if he is a POC, but his first and last names are Persian all right. True, in the G20 case it should be cops vs. people regardless of the skin color, however I can't stop wondering why lately there have been so many cases of formal charges against cops of ethnic minority background (two Asian cops last time), while in most cases clips of police brutality  show white/Canadian cops. I guess the white cops are harder to identify, or perhaps the reflection from their blue eyes blurs the photos.

 

Hear you Sanizadeh.

 

Seems the blame is being attributed to the OTHER

Cueball Cueball's picture

sanizadeh wrote:

Unionist wrote:

I meant - don't conclude from a person's name that they are a person of colour. Or that they are of Persian origin.

Don't know if he is a POC, but his first and last names are Persian all right. True, in the G20 case it should be cops vs. people regardless of the skin color, however I can't stop wondering why lately there have been so many cases of formal charges against cops of ethnic minority background (two Asian cops last time), while in most cases clips of police brutality  show white/Canadian cops. I guess the white cops are harder to identify, or perhaps the reflection from their blue eyes blurs the photos.

Thing about systemic prejudice is it is rarely about an overt racist act. In this case rather than being singled out, it is more properly a case of someone not being protected because they don't have the same institutional relationships.

Autoharp of Orpheus

So the SIU has finally, reluctantly, charged one single Toronto cop with assault!!!

Why? Well, they were more or less were forced to by the Toronto Star providing evidence on the front page.

Anybody who's worked for a big bureaucracy like the police, or the civil service, or the teaching profession, knows that the ranks of these workers are NOT filled with mavericks eager to defy their bosses wishes.

Rather, they are filled with people who got into these nice secure government jobs by knowing how to play the game. And they suck up for advancement by knowing how to play the game. And that means when the big boss sends signals suggesting that you jump--- you don't ask "How high?"

So when you see hundreds of G20 cops deliberately removing their name badges, or deliberately assaulting people, or deliberately carrying out strip searches for no reason, and deliberately keeping people in detention without access to phones, with handcuffs left on even though they were locked up in cages--- well, you can bet your bottom dollar that someone high up was sending the frontline cops a message---"These G20 protesters are assholes, so get out there and teach them a lesson they won't forget! Forget about their so-called rights! And don't worry about being punished--- society is going to thank you!"

The  list of "somebodies" who were sending the above message probably included our beloved PM, who loves nothing more than re-enacting the sixties culture war, but it sure seems to have included Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, who has been caught lying four times in support of his protesters-are-assholes-we'll-show-them routine.

1) He asserted that cops could arrest anybody who came within 5 meters of a security fence--- not so!

2) He tried to pretend that weapons on display at his news conference had been confiscated from G20 protesters--- not so!

3) He tried to call Adam Nobody a "dangerous, armed criminal"--- not so!

4) He tried to pretend that the video footage of Nobody's assault had been tampered with--- not so!

And those are just the lies that the press and public know about--- how many others are there?

It would be really, really interesting if a Freedom of Information request could reveal exactly what kind of leadership Blair and other police leaders were providing in the weeks and months leading up to the G20. But if you want to see a list of principles for which Blair decided to blatantly ignore, I would invite you to go to the Toronto Police's website to read their Mission Statement, or better still, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom.

It would be really, really instructive to see Chief Blair and his fellow cops treated exactly the way they treated others in June, 2010: innocent and guilty cops alike brutally rounded up, thrown in cages and kept there for 24 or 36 or 72 hours without access to phones...  kept handcuffed in groups of 40 or more while people walked by and swore at them and denied them food or water... and then, shazam! Just released without any charges, and told to leave!

Yes, I'd really, really like to see how the cops would react to a taste of their own medicine. But I'm about as likely to see that as to see George W. Bush and Dick Cheney wearing orange jumpsuits behind bullet-proof glass in a courtroom in the Hague listening to a list of their war crimes.

But, hey, I tell you what--- if I ever live to see EITHER ONE OF THESE THINGS, well, here's one cynical old atheist who promises to fall to his knees and sing hymns of praise to God Almighty!

Are you listening, Jesus?

 

Comrade Matthew

Autoharp, well put.

 

But don't lose your faith that easily. If any of those things happen, you'll be singing hymns of praise to the almighy proletarian revolution!

WilderMore

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Unionist wrote:

I think one should be careful about [url=http://www.crarr.org/?q=node/440]drawing conclusions from people's names[/url], or language, or nationality.

 

Agreed, though the conclusion might not be about anything he might have done, but regarding others' behaviour toward him. In that case, I think it is valid (and that's what I assumed Wild was implying).

 

Of course that was what I was implying. What else would it be? Ten officers are involved and only one is POC. That's the one identified by other officers as being involved. Seems pretty clear the police are forming a defensive ring and throwing scapegoats under the bus (mixing metaphores. never works).

The legal manoeuvering from this will go on for years.

Unionist

I guess I'm going to belabour this point:

How do you know it's a person of colour?

Can you refer us to a photo? You may have seen one. I haven't.

I'm not saying he isn't. I'm just saying that you can't tell by a person's name whether they're POC or not.

 

Maysie Maysie's picture

Unionist there's a photo at post #11 showing a cop of colour, who I assume is the cop who was charged.

Unionist

Thanks, Maysie, you may be right.

Although if that's the fellow who was charged, it still kind of confirms that you can't go by a Persian first name to guess what someone's skin colour will look like.

 

WilderMore

Unionist wrote:

I guess I'm going to belabour this point:

How do you know it's a person of colour?

Can you refer us to a photo? You may have seen one. I haven't.

I'm not saying he isn't. I'm just saying that you can't tell by a person's name whether they're POC or not.

 

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/article/910764--dimanno-public-take-a-bow-on-g20-police-charges?bn=1

 

 

Const. Babak Andalib-Goortani, seen in the middle during G20 demonstrations on June 26, 2010 in Toronto, has been charged with assault with a weapon in connection with the arrest of Adam Nobody, not pictured.

Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star

PraetorianFour

It will be justice when it's all the white english speaking males aged 20-45 that get charged.

Unionist

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Plus skin colour is not the only measure of discrimination.

I understand that point. Believe me, I do. Skin colour is, however, the only measure of whether someone is a POC. I've often wondered about the "POC" designation, as I have about the "visible minority" category which is used in various Canadian legislation. But that's another discussion.

 

6079_Smith_W

Unionist wrote:

I guess I'm going to belabour this point:

How do you know it's a person of colour?

Can you refer us to a photo? You may have seen one. I haven't.

I'm not saying he isn't. I'm just saying that you can't tell by a person's name whether they're POC or not.

 

Plus skin colour is not the only measure of discrimination. Sometimes an accent, or a cultural or religious belief - or a name - does the trick just as well. Go back about 80 years and there were quite a few ethnicities - Irish, Italian, Ukrainian - which were not considered white Europeans, skin colour notwithstanding.

(edit)

A fellow told me once about a neighbour's personal campaign in the 1993 federal election - a big sign in his yard that read "Remember Glencoe". And apparently he was serious.

6079_Smith_W

@ Unionist

Yeah, somehow I don't think a dermatologist is the final arbiter in these matters, but I do get your distinction.

Maysie Maysie's picture

PraetorianFour, your remark at #33 is trolling. Stop it.

6079_Smith_W

The next big question I am wondering about (as I mentioned above) is who is going to pay the bigger price - the accused, or the officer who probably effectively ended his own career by coming forward?

PraetorianFour

Maysie wrote:

PraetorianFour, your remark at #33 is trolling. Stop it.

 

Sorry Maysie.  Honestly that's the feeling I got reading this thread.

We want someone held accountable!  We want a police officer punished over this!

And then a name comes out and it happens to be a POC.

Bullshit! Of COURSE they pick a non-white cop.

It's a catch 22.

 

 

Quote:
Yep, the boys ratted out the only one who was an ethnic minority. He didn't belong, you know.

We know for a fact all the other cops were white?  They all looked at each other and said hey he doesn't belong so they threw him under the bus?

 

It just seemd to me like the only way "justice" will be done and people happy is if the police charged are white males.

Obviously that's not what anyone here wants to hear so I will politely remove myself from this thread.

 

PS. I hold the police in a much higher regard than most of you, I'm sure. I hold them to a VERY high standard. The G20 was bullshit and I want to see each and every cop guilty of wrongdoing punished. White brown black yellow  and blue. Because you know what? Lots of police are guilty of shitting the bed regardless of what colour they are.  Due to the amount of support I've given to the police I'm quite insulted over their behavior and unprofessionalisim at this waste fo a money summit. That 5 meter law was garbage and it pisses me off to no end that the police cheif was clearly misleading the public then fucking around and making lame ass excuses for screwing up.

Stargazer

For the record, I cannot tell even by third and forth glances at picture above that anyone if POC. Is it possible this officer was a scapegoat? Maybe, but who knows. The end result is that only one of the many people who were guilty were actually held accountable. So justice was not served. 

Why do you assume that particular officer wasn't English speaking?

6079_Smith_W

PraetorianFour wrote:

Bullshit! Of COURSE they pick a non-white cop.

I don't think there's enough evidence to assume that IS what happened.

But of course the fact that he is the only person charged (so far) out of a whole gang makes me wonder.

The main problem I have with leaping to that assumption is that it would mean the witness is not in fact honest, but complicit, and a liar. For that reason, I don't think it is fair.

al-Qa'bong

Quote:
For the record, I cannot tell even by third and forth glances at picture above that anyone if POC. Is it possible this officer was a scapegoat?

 

You know that cop about whom I complained? Turns out he was of South Asian descent. At the time of the incident I didn't even notice; all I saw was COP.

Autoharp of Orpheus

I fail to see the reason for discussing the guy's color or ethnicity.

In the pictures I've seen, he doesn't look very non-white or ethnic, but he sure looks like a scary, angry bully.

I'd guess that scary, angry bullies come in all colours and ethnicities.

It will be interesting to see if he is willing to take the rap for this all by himself, or if he will name names.

The only two other cop names we know about so far, as reported by the Toronto Star, are J. McIntyre and S. Ma... the latter sounds like an Asian name, but what difference does it make? If S. Ma assaulted anyone, S. Ma should be charged.

And if none of these officers or their colleagues will name names, then I say fire 'em all and let 'em sue.

And I really, really, insist that whoever was supposed to be supervising these officers be fired for

A) letting some of them remove their name tags against orders

B) failing to order them to stop assaulting people

C) failing to identify them to the SIU

And you know what, if these cops get lawyered up and sue to get their jobs back, then even if they finally win that lawsuit, that's fine with me.

Let them go through all the stress of a long lawsuit, and above all, let them have their names and pictures printed in all the newspapers. They fully deserve all the shame that can be heaped on them.

And maybe, just maybe, some of their colleagues will become aware that, oh yes, they, too, are not above the law, and they, too, can be fired for assault.

And even if sending that message costs society millions of bucks, then I still say it's money well spent.

 

 

Unionist

Autoharp of Orpheus wrote:

I fail to see the reason for discussing the guy's color or ethnicity.

In the pictures I've seen, he doesn't look very non-white or ethnic, but he sure looks like a scary, angry bully.

I'd guess that scary, angry bullies come in all colours and ethnicities.

Worth repeating, underlining, and preserving.

Quote:
And if none of these officers or their colleagues will name names, then I say fire 'em all and let 'em sue.

That's exactly what would happen if we were talking about workers caught engaging in dirty brutal activity like this. They would be suspended without pay pending investigation - and on the basis of the evidence we've seen, they'd be fired, even if they weren't charged criminally or were charged and not convicted.

Cops should be held to a far higher standard. Instead, their thuggish bullying is rewarded. Any cop engaged in this kind of activity should be fired first, and asked questions after. If this means that people are discouraged from joining the police force, excellent!

Quote:

And even if sending that message costs society millions of bucks, then I still say it's money well spent.

Couldn't agree more.

Oh, one other thing:

Cops should be prohibited from bearing firearms. They don't need them.

 

Autoharp of Orpheus

To be honest, I don't mind cops having firearms... it's those damn Tasers that worry me.

kropotkin1951

Unionist you are absolutely right that the police should at least be held to the same standard as other workers let.  My brother worked at a par-mutual track taking bets and someone on his shift found a way to print winners.  They investigated and could not find out who was doing it so they fired the whole shift.  When human error likely caused a ferry to run aground the Officer of the Watch got fired even though he was on his scheduled lunch break when the errors occurred.

I agree any police officer assigned to duty that day should be fired unless they give up the perps.  If they are not willing to clean out the sociopaths in their midst then I don't want them policing my neighbourhood.

Bacchus

Would that they could arrest all unwilling witnesses that way.

 

Does newfoundland police still not have guns? Kind of like the UK?

Comrade Matthew

Maysie wrote:

PraetorianFour, your remark at #33 is trolling. Stop it.

Maysie,

Praetorian's comments were clearly tongue in cheek. Your disagreement does not automatically qualify a statement as "trolling".

There is a tendency amongst certain leftists to assume that white males are universally priviledged. Not only is this not true, but it also flies in the face of true socialist or "leftist" values. Focusing exclusively on race is divisive, hence the ruling classes have employed this tool for so long.

If the left is going to soley focus on this particular police officer's race, we will be doing our masters a great service by ignoring what truly deserves attention - the fact that for two days in Toronto war was declared on the citizens of Canada.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Hi Comrade. Welcome to babble.

I find it fascinating that you choose to tell me about white male privilege after being a member of babble for less than a day.

"The left" is not focussing solely on this officer's race. Some in this thread are commenting on it. Which is, by the way, allowed on babble. Not all are agreeing by the way.

Sometimes the pig oppressors are men and women of colour and Aboriginal men and women. But you know who is in the leadership and higher-ups in organizations such as the police? White men. You know what culture is bred in organizations in which the state hires and pays for enforcers? White male culture. Shock and surprise.

PraetorianFour wrote:
 It will be justice when it's all the white english speaking males aged 20-45 that get charged.

I know that was tongue in cheek. It's also trolling.

Comrade wrote:
 There is a tendency amongst certain leftists to assume that white males are universally priviledged. Not only is this not true, but it also flies in the face of true socialist or "leftist" values. Focusing exclusively on race is divisive

Only for white folks, Comrade. 

And if you read "focusing exclusively on race" into this thread, then I have to say, you really can't stand any perspective other than your own, can you?

Laughing And thanks, I needed a good laugh before heading off to bed. 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

The National Post has this: Kelly McParland: Toronto's shallow, cowardly cops

 

excerpt:

 

Now switch the channel to the G20 summit, where a mob of police decided to beat up on a protester named Adam Nobody. There is some suspicion they thought he was being a smart-ass when he was asked his name and replied: "Nobody." In any case, a group numbering about 15 gathered around while one or more of the officers fractured his face. Photos and videos show a half dozen pinning him to the ground while others set up a protective wall, with riot shields to ensure no one interfered in their activities.

 

Sadly, police leaders initially disavowed the whole thing. Only under extreme public pressure would they acknowledge that maybe something untoward had happened, and only when video evidence started appearing did they make serious efforts to track down the cops involved - and then only after trying, but failing, to discredit the evidence itself.

 

Now, with proof piling up and the city on their backs, Chief Bill Blair and the province's Special Investigations Unit are finally making a show of applying the law as it should be applied. But guess what? They're having a horrible time getting more evidence, because the officers involved are either too terrified of the consequences of identifying  those at fault, or suffer a misplaced sense of loyalty to the  transgressors.

 

Three officers who the SIU says "may have caused injuries to Mr. Nobody" refuse to be interviewed, and twelve fellow officers - presumably the ones standing around watching, and keeping people away - have discovered they are unable to identify the guilty cops. These are men and women trained to identify evidence for use in prosecuting criminals, but they are apparently incapable of recognizing the faces of their own colleagues while standing no more than a few feet away. A rational person might argue this disqualifies them from their jobs, and they should be fired for incompetence, if nothing else.

 

One brave soul did point the finger. One out of 15. It's obvious that many of the rest are deliberately impeding the investigation because they don't want to rat out their guilty colleagues. Just like the brainless punks with guns, who fire them off  knowing witnesses will be too afraid to come forward. Maybe the cops think they're adhering to some noble code of loyalty. In fact they're no more admirable than any other callow, cowardly law-breaker who depends on fear to keep them safe from justice.

 

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