Three officers investigated in a high-profile case of alleged police brutality at last year's G20 summit will not be charged after several peers, including supervisors, did not or could not say whether the officers had been involved in beating Adam Nobody, the province's police watchdog said Monday.
The officers were suspected of being part of a group that arrested Mr. Nobody at Queen's Park during a protest. Another officer, Constable Babak Andalib-Goortani, was charged nearly seven months ago with assault for allegedly hitting Mr. Nobody with his baton while other officers held him down.
After Constable Andalib-Goortani was charged, Toronto police turned over the names of the three other officers suspected of involvement to the Special Investigations Unit. The SIU interviewed several witnesses, including 17 officers believed to have been in the area during Mr. Nobody's arrest and four supervisors of one of the suspect officers, but none could identify any of the officers as having taken part in the alleged assault.
Furthermore, the SIU ruled that evidence amassed by the Toronto Police Service's own professional standards investigators and which the TPS used to identify the three officers for the SIU was not enough to use in a court case.
"While they both provided some circumstantial evidence of identity of the subject officers in question, I am of the view that it is so weak that it fails to meet the test of probable grounds to believe an identified officer committed a criminal offence," said SIU director Ian Scott in a statement.
The inability or unwillingness of police officers to identify their peers or confirm whether they had been involved in G20 assaults has been a common theme in SIU probes in the wake of the June 2010 summit. While protesters and human rights advocates accuse officers of deliberately thwarting the SIU by protecting each other from scrutiny, Toronto police have maintained that they are co-operating fully with the civilian watchdog.