TORONTO – The lawyer for a Toronto police officer accused of using excessive force to arrest a man at a G20 protest is suggesting that the man was resisting arrest and trying to get away.
Const. Babak Andalib-Goortani has pleaded not guilty to assault causing bodily harm during the arrest of Toronto man Adam Nobody.
Nobody, a 30-year-old stage hand, has testified he was tackled at a protest at the Ontario legislature on June 26, 2010, and as several officers piled on top of him he was hit several times.
A photo of his bruised right side has been put into evidence.
Both sides agree that Nobody’s arrest was lawful, but the central question is whether the force Andalib-Goortani used was lawful.
The officer’s lawyer, Harry Black, suggested while cross-examining Nobody on Friday that videos of the arrest show him resisting, but Nobody denied that.
Black took Nobody frame by frame through one of the videos, but Nobody denied each of Black’s assertions that certain movements of his body suggest he was resisting.
Nobody testified that the officers tackled him then flipped him onto his stomach, holding his arms and legs immobile. Some of his movements may have been a natural reaction to being tackled, he said.
“I may have naturally defensively tried to (get away), but it lasted less than two seconds at most,” Nobody testified.
Black asked if Nobody tried to bite an officer’s hand.
“Absolutely not,” he said. “I take that as an insult.”
Black has suggested Nobody was an agitator at the protest, urging people to rise up against the police and was carrying a water bottle full of an ignitable liquid.
Nobody testified the water bottle contained water and whisky, though he couldn’t account for the trace amount of toluene — a volatile, ignitable substance used as a solvent in fuels.
The Crown closed its case Friday. Black has not said if the defence will call evidence on Monday.
A separate trial is set for next year for Andalib-Goortani on a second charge of assault with a weapon that was laid by Toronto police.