rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

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

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca for as little as $5 per month!

Please support our coverage of democratic movements and become a supporting member of rabble.ca.

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. 

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.