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News Release

Toronto Police Service Police Officer Charged

Case Number: 10-TCI-118

Mississauga (21 December, 2010) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are reasonable grounds to believe that an officer with the Toronto Police Service (TPS) committed a criminal offence in connection with the arrest of Adam Nobody during the G20 demonstrations in Toronto on June 26, 2010.  Constable Babak Andalib-Goortani has this morning been charged with assault with a weapon, contrary to section 267(a) of the Criminal Code.

The investigation of this incident arose from the G20 protests in downtown Toronto held over the June 26 & 27, 2010 weekend.  After an initial investigation, the Director determined that there were no reasonable grounds to believe that any identifiable police officer committed a criminal offence against Mr. Nobody.  Focusing on the first of Mr. Nobody’s two allegations of excessive use of force, the Director stated in a news release dated November 25, 2010 that it was “corroborated by a video recording that was uploaded on Youtube under the title of ‘Toronto G20, Peaceful Protestor Tackled and Roughed Up.’” He further stated it was impossible to identify the perpetrator, and accordingly there would be no charge laid in relation to that incident.

On November 29, 2010, the Chief of the TPS asserted on a CBC radio morning show that the video had been significantly tampered with and fabricated.  He said that the police were arresting a violent armed offender and that a segment depicting the use of a weapon had been removed from the tape.  

On November 30, 2010, the SIU received a sworn statement from videographer John Bridge stating that he was the individual who filmed the incident and uploaded it onto Youtube.  He said there was a gap of a few seconds in the tape because he thought the police were about to catch up to him.  As a result, he turned off his camera, and turned it on again when he saw Mr. Nobody being arrested. There was no tampering of the videotape and no missing videotape.

On the same day, the SIU re-opened its investigation based on the Chief’s comments and the information disclosed by Mr. Bridge.  Mr. Bridge provided the SIU with a copy of his original footage of the incident.  It was examined and found to contain imagery of a much higher resolution than the uploaded Youtube version.

On December 3, 2010, the TPS Chief issued a news release stating that he had no evidence that there was any “intent to mislead” with respect to the videotape in question and no evidence that Mr. Nobody was armed.  He extended an apology to Mr. Nobody.

The SIU’s investigation has confirmed that there is no missing videotape in the footage posted on Youtube.

On the basis of still frames taken from the Bridge video, the SIU issued a media release on December 7, 2010 with photos of two individuals who appeared to be taking photographs or video footage of the incident involving the arrest of Mr. Nobody and appealed for them to step forward.

On December 9, 2010, the SIU received a copy of a second video of the incident initially provided to the Toronto Star.

The same day, a member of the public came forward and provided the SIU with a third video of the incident.  

Also on December 9, 2010, the TPS provided the SIU with the names of fifteen officers who might have been in the vicinity of and/or involved in Mr. Nobody’s arrest.  The information was provided in response to a request by the SIU that the TPS ascertain and disclose the names of all officers involved in Mr. Nobody’s arrest or who might have information regarding the identity of the officers involved in the arrest.  
       
During the re-opened investigation, a number of members of the public contacted the SIU about their recollections of the Nobody incident.

Through an analysis of the video imagery and additional information gathered during the re-opened investigation, SIU investigators determined that three of the named fifteen officers may have caused injuries to Mr. Nobody related to his first allegation of assault.  Accordingly, twelve officers were designated as witness officers and interviewed.  The remaining three were designated as subject officers.

The twelve officers who were interviewed were shown the Bridge video of the incident and stills taken from other videos.  None of the twelve witness officers who were said to be in the vicinity of and/or involved in the arrest of Mr. Nobody were able to positively identify themselves as being depicted in the videos, nor could they identify the other involved officers.   

The subject officers declined to provide a statement, as is their right.

TPS subsequently provided the SIU with the name of an additional witness officer, who was able to identify one of the three subject officers, that being, Constable Andalib-Goortani.  The process of identifying Constable Andalib-Goortani will be part of the case presented at trial.

Additional information was also gathered with respect to Mr. Nobody’s second complaint of excessive use of force, which is alleged to have occurred at the hands of different officers following his arrest.  Director Scott remains of the view that there is insufficient corroborative evidence around this allegation to reasonably believe that an offence occurred.     

Constable Andalib-Goortani is required to appear on January 24, 2011, before the Ontario Court of Justice (College Park Building) , 444 Yonge Street,Toronto.  The Justice Prosecutions branch of the Ministry of the Attorney General will have carriage of the prosecution.

As this matter is now before the courts, and in consideration of the fair trial interests of the charged officer and the community, the SIU will make no further comment pertaining to this investigation.

The SIU would like to thank videographer John Bridge for coming forward and sharing both the manner in which he shot his video, permitting himself to be identified and providing the Unit with his original video footage of the incident.  The media and other members of the public also played a pivotal role in assisting the investigation.
 

The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault. Under the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether an officer has committed a criminal offence  in connection with the incident under investigation
  • depending on the evidence, lay a criminal charge against the officer if appropriate or close the file without any charges being laid
  • report the results of any investigations to the Attorney General. 

Monica Hudon, monica.hudon@ontario.ca
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342