Finally a G20 related charge I can get excited about.
Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair had circled his wagons against an SIU probe into the conduct of his officers during the G20 Summit protests in Toronto in regards to the beating Adam Nobody sustained while in custody on June 26, 2010.
Adam Nobody launched a formal complaint regarding how he was treated by police — after the initial takedown at Queen’s Park he alleges he was subjected to a vicious beating by undercover officers.
Yesterday, Toronto Police Constable Babek Andalib-Goortani was charged with assault with a weapon. He is scheduled to appear in court January 24, 2010.
In a news release also on Tuesday, Special Investigations Unit director Ian Scott stated, “There are reasonable grounds to believe that an officer … committed a criminal offence in connection with the arrest of Adam Nobody on June 26.”
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 6 different demonstrators.
On November 25, 2010, the SIU released its findings and Director Ian Scott commented (regarding Nobody’s case), “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.”
The police basically concluded that they could not lay any charges because it could not securely identify any officers involved thus it lacked sufficient corroborating evidence [May I note here that 91 officers were reprimanded for not wearing their name badges during the demonstrations – as was the case with Constable Babek Andalib-Goortani]. But Nobody’s case stayed lit as news rolled out that the identity of said officer was discovered through photographic and video evidence and was presented to the Toronto Police from external sources such as the Toronto Star and http://www.G20justice.com
In an interview on December 8, 2010, Police Chief Bill Blair said he was doing “everything he can” to cooperate with three independent investigations into possible police misconduct during the G20 Summit protests.
So far, we have one criminal charge related to police misconduct. Let’s start to tackle the long list of 400 complaints filed with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) regarding the police’s conduct during the G20 Summit protests.
“I’m grateful that they finally have someone who’s going to stand before a court,” Nobody said yesterday. “It’s not something (that can be swept) under the rug.”
There were allegations during the SIU probe into the matter that the Toronto Police did not cooperate with the investigation.
Nobody’s lawyer Sunil Mathai, stated, “It is regrettable that 12 witness officers were unable to identify themselves or others in the video… This makes a mockery of the duty to cooperate.”
I hope the accountability-holding momentum doesn’t begin and end with this one officer, but should continue the ladder upwards until it reaches the PMO’s office.
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