Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Toronto cop guilty of assault in G20 arrest of Adam Nobody

TORONTO - Toronto Police Const. Babak Andalib-Goortani was found guilty Thursday of assault with a weapon in the beating of Adam Nobody during the G20 weekend.

“Police officers are not entitled to use unlimited force to effect an arrest,” Justice Louise Botham said.

Nobody, 30, was chased and tackled by riot police at a protest on the early evening of June 26, 2010, at the Ontario legislature. The Crown contended the officer hit Nobody numerous times with his baton after the stagehand lay immobile on the ground.

Andalib-Goortani testified that he had to use his baton because he believed Nobody was resisting arrest while being held down by at least three other officers who were captured on video punching and kneeing him .

The judge said that explanation was “after the fact to justify his blows.”

Nobody admitted he was being verbally confrontational during the G20 protest but denied he’d resisted arrest.

“The resistance offered by Mr. Nobody was minimal,” said the judge.

“I don’t believe that any of the blows were a proportionate or necessary” use of force, she said.

The judge had harsh words for Andalib-Goortani’s police colleagues who testified on his behalf. “I am troubled by the fact that although they all now identify Adam Nobody as a significant and memorable troublemaker, none of these senior officers recorded anything in their notes about him that day.”

Botham also criticized Andalib-Goortani’s lack of identification that day. “Curiously, although working in uniform, the defendant had neither his badge number nor name tag on.”

Nobody applauded in court after hearing the officer had been convicted.

“I’m actually a little surprised but I’m extremely, extremely grateful,” he said outside the College Park courtroom. “After three years, it’s a great feeling.

“Justice is served.”

Police union president Mike McCormack said Andalib-Goortani is “very distraught” and “very crushed” at the guilty verdict and their lawyers are looking to see if there are grounds for an appeal.

“We’re disappointed, obviously,” McCormack said. “In this case we just feel the judge came to a wrong conclusion.”

Andalib-Goortani returns for sentencing Nov. 8.
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