Update: see previous posts – June 1, 2011 Ottawa Police Enjoy Their Share of the G20 Money Pie, McGuinty to Scrap the Secret G20 Law (1939 Public Works Protection Act), March 31, 2011 The “G20 Bump” Translates into a 60% Increase of Toronto Police Making the 2010 Sunshine List, March 19, 2011 Harper Screws Toronto’s Businesses, March 18, 2011 New G20 Lawsuits Launched Against Toronto Police Board, December 7, 2010 Ontario Umbudsman André Marin Delivers Report on G20 “Caught in the Act”, August 8, 2010 G20 Litigation, August 1, 2010 Damage$ Flowing from Charter Breaches
see source – reprinted from the Toronto Star
The G20 Summit’s one year anniversary is quickly approaching. The June, 2010 G20 summit was the site of the largest mass arrests in Canadian history.
Given the events that transpired and the arrests that took place during that infamous weekend mayhem:
It is surprising that the wheels of justice have moved as slowly as they have, both criminal and civil.
Three officers involved in the arrest of protester Adam Nobody during the G20 summit last year have publicly defended their actions for the first time, denying any wrongdoing in the high-profile case.
Det. Consts. Luke Watson and Todd Storey revealed their version of events in Ontario Superior Court in April, during proceedings related to another case involving alleged excessive force. In the process, they denied the accusations by Nobody, who suffered a broken cheekbone and nose during his arrest at the G20 summit in June 2010.
“We never kicked him, we never punched him,” Storey testified in late April.
Nobody, a stagehand who legally changed his surname, alleges he was assaulted by police in two separate incidents outside Queen’s Park on June 26, 2010. The first involved riot police who arrested him near the police line; the second allegedly involved Watson and Storey, who then escorted him to a police van.
His case has been one of the most high profile in the wake of the G20 summit. Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit reopened its investigation into his allegations around the same time new videos surfaced showing his arrest by riot police. The SIU subsequently charged Const. Babak Andalib-Goortani with assault with a weapon. He is the only officer facing criminal charges related to the G20.
The officers’ testimony surfaced during a pre-trial hearing in the case of Abbas Jama, which is unrelated to Nobody’s complaints. Jama, who was picked up on weapons charges in June 2009, alleged he was kicked and punched by his arresting officers, which include Watson, Storey and Det. Michael Dicosola, who were involved in Nobody’s arrest.
When defence lawyer Michael Leitold learned some of the same officers were connected to both incidents, he requested that they and Nobody testify about the G20 at Jama’s hearing in an attempt to have his client’s charges stayed because of alleged excessive force. Justice Robert Clark denied the motion on May 20. On Monday, Jama was found guilty of two weapons-related charges and breach of probation and sentenced to a day in jail.
The proceedings shed new light on Nobody’s allegations by revealing the officers’ version of what happened during the G20.
Nobody previously shared his version of events with the Toronto Star after new videos surfaced of his arrest. During the Jama case, he testified that while he was in flex-cuffs, Watson and Storey threatened to beat him and took him between two police vans, where Watson kicked his feet out from under him. Nobody told the court the two officers kicked him in the face and body and that Watson proceeded to grind his face “full force” into the concrete with his foot.
Nobody, 27, also testified that when he told them his name was “Nobody,” the officers assumed he was lying and Watson ground his face into the ground “twice as hard.”
The officers painted a different picture. Storey said that when he took custody of Nobody, he didn’t notice “big injuries,” but rather “scuff marks and some bruising to his face.”
“I never threatened Mr. Nobody at any point in time,” Watson testified, adding he never kicked Nobody or ground his face into the concrete.
Storey said he may have called Nobody a “goof” when the protester conveyed his last name because he thought he was being lied to.
“I searched him, I had contact with him but I didn’t use any force,” Storey testified. “I never assaulted him.”
The officers said they took Nobody between two police vans because there was more space to search him there.
Dicosola, who supervised Watson and Storey that day but had no physical contact with Nobody, testified he didn’t see or hear anything inappropriate and would have intervened otherwise.
Crown prosecutor Danielle Scott criticized Nobody, saying he exaggerates and that his testimony “cannot be believed.”
After the G20, Nobody spent 31 hours in jail and three days in hospital. Criminal charges against Nobody laid after the G20, including an assault on Storey, were dropped in October 2010.
Update: June 9, 2011 – Ministers didn’t follow own policies for G8 spending