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Will two officers face discipline in G20 fallout? Police aren't saying Add to ...

With the conclusion of the criminal investigation into their conduct at the G20 summit, it will now be up to the Toronto Police Service to decide if it will discipline two officers suspected of beating a protester but not charged.

Earlier this week, Ontario's police watchdog ordered criminal charges against Constable Babak Andalib-Goortani, one of three it identified as suspects in the case of Adam Nobody, who was left with a broken nose and shattered cheekbone after he was arrested at Queen's Park on June 26.

Fellow officers, however, could not confirm that the other two were responsible, so they were not charged and the case was closed.

"If we get more information, we can reopen it," said Special Investigations Unit spokesman Frank Phillips.

If the SIU doesn't lay any charges by this Sunday, six months from the date of the incident, prosecutors will lose the option of dealing with the charge as a summary offence, which can proceed more quickly to trial, and must issue an indictment, which would entitle the officer to a trial by jury.

On Dec. 9, police gave the SIU the names of 15 of their own who may have been at or near Mr. Nobody's arrest. Of those, police identified three as suspects. None of the witnesses would say for certain they were present at the arrest and would not confirm that any of the suspects were, either. Shortly afterward, police gave the SIU the name of one additional policeman, who fingered Const. Andalib-Goortani.

So far, police have said they will push forward with disciplinary charges against more than 90 officers who weren't wearing nametags at the G20, but have not said if they will pursue cases against the other suspects in Mr. Nobody's case.

Some, meanwhile, argued that the scrutiny of police at the summit should not end with Const. Andalib-Goortani's charges or with individual officers in general.

"It's not only a matter of individual police officers losing their cool or abusing their power," said Nathalie Des Rosiers of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. "It's the organization of police, the training of police, the strategies that were deployed."

In an interview earlier this week, lawyer Peter Rosenthal, who has dealt with SIU-related cases in the past, questioned why the police watchdog didn't simply charge all of the officers at Mr. Nobody's arrest.

The 27-year-old stage builder, for his part, expressed optimism that those who allegedly battered him would ultimately face justice.

"I'm very hopeful that the other officers are going to be held accountable," he said. "I'm very grateful that someone is going to have to go to court to answer the charges."

 

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