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News Release

SIU Re-opens Barton G20 Investigation Again

Case Number: 10-TCI-116

Mississauga (26 May, 2011) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has reopened the investigation into the injuries sustained by 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. SIU investigators interviewed twelve officers and two new civilian witnesses. 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. The investigation was subsequently closed on May 16.

Today, the SIU has re-opened the investigation. Director Scott said, "The SIU asked the Toronto Police Service on multiple occasions for the method it used to identify the involved officers in the Barton incident. The first request for this information was sent to Chief Blair’s office on January 20, 2011. While the TPS provided the SIU with the name of the subject officer in a timely fashion that, in my view, was not adequate. We asked for the name of the person who made the identification so that we could take a statement from that individual. That information was not forthcoming. Finally, on May 25, 2011, the Service has agreed to provide the Unit with that name. In anticipation of the timely receipt of this new information, the Unit is re-opening the Barton 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. 

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