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SIU reopens another G20-related investigation

A photo taken from Reuters video and released by the SIU shows Canute Fernandes, in red shirt, on ground with two potential witnesses standing to the right.

The case of a Toronto man whose arm and shoulder were fractured during the G20 demonstrations is the latest to be reopened by the province's special investigative unit.

Initially the SIU did not have enough evidence to proceed with the investigation, but new evidence has emerged on Monday from video taken by the Reuters news agency, SIU spokesman Frank Phillips said.

The province's civilian special investigative unit said Canute Fernandes, 42, was overrun by a crowd of police officers and demonstrators just east of Peter Street and Queen Street West on June 26. He fell to the ground, landing on his shoulder.

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The Reuters video, with Mr. Fernandes dressed in a red shirt, shows several officers moving in to arrest him and dragging him along the street.

When Mr. Fernandes complained of pain in his right arm, he was taken to Toronto East General Hospital and treated for a fractured arm and shoulder, Mr. Phillips said.

"We were directed to the video link," Mr. Phillips said, although he would not specify who gave the SIU the lead.

Mr. Phillips also refused to say if Mr. Fernandes was a bystander caught in the G20 crowds or a demonstrator.

"What I can tell you is that we looked into matter and interviewed eight police officers from Toronto and Sudbury police as well as three civilian witnesses," he said. "But we did not have enough evidence to go forward."

Specifically, the SIU could not determine whether Mr. Fernandes fell as the result of being knocked to the ground by rushing officers or fleeing protestors. The SIU was also unable to ascertain the identity of the arresting officers.

Under the circumstances, SIU Director Ian Scott concluded the investigation in November 2010 stating "accordingly, I cannot form reasonable grounds that a criminal offence occurred in the circumstances of this case."

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SIU investigators are now actively working on this matter with the intent of identifying additional witnesses seen in the Reuters video who may have seen Mr. Fernandes' arrest and be able to provide information to assist the SIU.

"One of these men looks like he might have a camera in his hand, so we would like to see that video and that might help us identify the arresting officers," Mr. Phillips said.

The SIU requests anyone with information to contact the lead investigator at 416-622-2293 or 1- 800-787-8529 ext. 2293.

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