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News Release

SIU Concludes Reopened G20 Investigation

Case Number: 10-TCI-116

Mississauga (16 May, 2011) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are there are no reasonable grounds to cause charges to be laid against any Toronto Police Service (TPS) officers in connection with the arrest of 29-year-old Dorian Barton during the G20 demonstrations in Toronto in June 2010.

The initial SIU investigation determined that Mr. Barton was at the intersection of University Avenue and College Street in the early afternoon of June 26, 2010. There was a line of mounted police officers on his left and anti-riot officers standing in front of the demonstrators. Mr. Barton had turned around to take pictures of the mounted police officers with his cellular camera unaware that anti-riot officers were marching toward the crowd. Mr. Barton was taken to the ground and arrested, sustaining a fracture to his right arm. During the first investigation, Mr. Barton could not identify the officers involved in his arrest or fully explain how the injury occurred, and the remainder of the evidence was not capable of resolving this question. The investigation was closed on November 25, 2010.

On January 12, 2011, the SIU received seven photographs of the arrest of Mr. Barton. After reviewing the new evidence Director Scott re-opened the investigation on January 14, 2011. The Unit also received a video of the Barton arrest scene from the TPS that was seized during the arrests at the University of Toronto. The 42 second video does not show Mr. Barton being knocked to the ground but depicts a second officer having contact with him. The identity of the person who took the video is not known.

 

The SIU assigned two investigators to continue the investigation. Twelve officers and two new civilian witnesses were interviewed. According to the two civilian witnesses, Mr. Barton was first struck with a riot shield causing him to fall down and then struck a number of times with a baton or batons (there may have been more than one officer involved). Neither civilian witness could adequately identify the officer or officers involved in striking Mr. Barton. The photographs were shown to eleven witness officers in an attempt to identify any officers involved in striking Mr. Barton. While a number of officers in the vicinity were identified, none of the witness officers could identify the perpetrator or perpetrators of the strikes against Mr. Barton.

Director Scott concluded, "Based upon this lack of positive identification, I am not in a position to form reasonable grounds that an identifiable police officer used excessive force against the complainant leading to his serious injury."

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. 

Frank Phillips, frank.phillips@ontario.ca
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342