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Activist Communique: More G20 questions than answers

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I've been tracking the case of Dorian Barton since the G20 for rabble.ca and have new updates for my readers.

Here's the story so far...

Dorian Barton -- represented by the law firm Ruby & Shiller -- is suing the Toronto Police Force for allegedly beating him on June 26, 2010, as he was arrested while demonstrating against the G20 summit at Queen's Park. Queen's Park had been established as the official G20 free speech/protest zone prior to the summit.

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 30 hours. Charged with obstructing a police officer and unlawful demonstration, 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.

While the SIU originally closed Barton's case regarding his allegations of police battery citing a lack of evidence, new photos have emerged documenting his arrest which the SIU will now consider.

[May I note: the very same thing happened in the case of Adam Nobody, where the SIU also first ruled that it lacked sufficient evidence to conclude any wrongdoing by the Toronto police for lack of evidence to identify the officers allegedly involved. As in Nobody's case, new photo evidence have emerged from the public. Constable Babek Andalib-Goortani (who was not wearing his mandatory police identification at the time) has been charged with assault with a weapon against Adam Nobody. He is scheduled to appear in court January 24, 2010.]

Barton's lawyers were to announce their civil claim against the Toronto police on Wednesday January 12, 2010, with a nine-page statement of claim filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice seeking $250,000 for Barton's alleged assault and battery, unlawful arrest and detention and "negligent investigation."

This week, reporting on the reopened SIU investigation into Barton's allegations -- in which he firmly stands -- SIU director Ian Scott claims that the police are still unable to identify the officer that allegedly beat Barton. This is despite the fact that one of the witness officers actually bunked with the officer that allegedly attacked Barton, and yet this witness officer still claims they cannot identify him.

Photographer Andrew Wallace had provided to the SIU a picture of an unnamed officer while Barton's arrests takes place. Wallace said he saw the officer strike Barton and yet it is pictures like these -- as well as video evidence -- from which eleven officers were unable to indentify their colleague.

Scott also told the Toronto Star two other witness officers who could not name the suspect officer were supervisors.

"An internal investigation is underway, and we will look at all the circumstances involved in the alleged Barton assault," said police spokesman Mark Pugash.

"I can tell you that all circumstances will be looked into, and where there is evidence, people will be charged," he said, adding that officers could be fired if wrongdoing is found.

This concludes the announcement last week that the SIU could not -- without the proper identification -- lay any criminal charges resulting from Barton's heavy handed take-down


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