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The Globe and Mail

SIU reopens probe of alleged G20 police beating

Police officers making arrests at Queen's Park in Toronto on Saturday, june26, 2010. There were numerous clashes between police and G20 protesters throughout the day.

Roger Hallett/The Globe and Mail/Roger Hallett/The Globe and Mail

The Special Investigations Unit has announced it will reopen an investigation into another alleged G20 police beating.

According to the SIU, an arm's-length body that investigates police conduct, 29-year-old Dorian Barton had been taking pictures with his cellphone when he was taken down by a male anti-riot officer. It said Mr. Barton, with his back turned, had been unaware that riot officers were marching on the crowd during G20 protests.

Mr. Barton, who claims that police broke his arm on June 26, is also suing the Toronto Police Service for $250,000.

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One of his lawyers, Clayton Ruby, told The Globe and Mail that the investigation would have no effect on his client's civil suit.

"Let's not hold our breaths for the SIU. They practically have to be pushed over the cliff before they take a step," Mr. Ruby said. "The police are almost always cleared."

The SIU chose to reopen its investigation after receiving photographs on Wednesday of Mr. Barton's interaction with police.

The SIU had previously investigated Mr. Barton's case, interviewing four Toronto officers as witnesses, but at the time were unable to identify any officers who may have been responsible.

In November, Mr. Barton told The Globe and Mail that police had ignored his injury. "When I asked for medical attention, they laughed at me," he said.

In his statement of claim, he said he had been taking photographs with no intention of protesting. He also says he'd spent a total of 30 hours in custody with only three regular-strength Tylenol tablets for the pain.

Mr. Barton's case follows that of Adam Nobody, a 27-year-old man who also claims to have been assaulted by police during the G20. The SIU similarly chose to reopen Mr. Nobody's case and one officer, Constable Babak Andalib-Goortani, was charged with assault.

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