Friday, September 13, 2013

The Long Road To Justice

Although long, the road to criminal justice for Adam Nobody has finally ended; the police officer who viciously assaulted him during the infamous Toronto 2010 G20 weekend, Const. Babak Andalib-Goortani, was found guilty of using excessive force. Of the myriad who violated the rights of over 1100 people that weekend, he is the only officer to whom justice has been meted out.

And the fact that he has been convicted is thanks to video evidence offered by bystanders. Had the usual blue wall prevailed, the crime would have gone unpunished, as all of the officers involved claimed to have no knowledge of their fellow officers' identities, nor of any crimes they might have perpetrated. This fiction was supported by Chief Bill Blair who, at the time, said that the video taken by bystander John Bridge was tampered with, and that the police were likely arresting a violent, armed offender. They were remarks he later apologized for.

Happily, Justice Louise Botham saw through the veil of lies and 'amnesia' so beloved of police when they are caught in wrongdoing. In response to Andalib-Goortani’s claim that his baton blows against Nobody were to assist officers in arresting a resisting Nobody, she said:

“I find his explanation that he was responding to Adam Nobody’s resistance is nothing more than an after-the-fact attempt to justify his blows rather than reason for them”.

The final test will come on Nov. 8, when Andalib-Goortani will be sentenced. In the unlikely event he is given jail time, he will lose his job; more probable is a fine which will allow him to continue 'protecting and serving.'

Mike McCormack, President of the Toronto Police Association, said that while the police respect the justice system, the judge came to the wrong conclusion. He also opined that this was an isolated incident:

"I think that our members, our police officers, did a great job overall the day of the G20, and they're extraordinary circumstances, and I still stand by our membership and that every officer's actions have to be assessed on their individual actions," he said.

I imagine that at least 1100 people who were illegally incarcerated that weekend and otherwise had their Charter fights abrogated might disagree with McCormack's evaluation.


  1. I understand the judge to have said that every member of the police, administration and union involved in the case was lying. We all know this is true but it's nice to see it expressed.

    1. I had not heard that, rumley, but in court cases the police and truth often seem like only very distant relatives.

  2. Increasingly, Lorne, the only resistance to a dictatorial state seems to be coming from the judiciary.

    1. And I think that often occurs within an atmosphere of intimidation, Owen. The police, for example, always ensure a strong presence in the courtroom when 'one of their own' is on trial. One radio station yesterday reported that when the guilty verdict was announced, they let out a very audible 'sigh' to express their displeasure.