Injuries on the torso of a man arrested at a G20 protest were likely not caused by a baton, the trial of a police officer accused of assault heard Wednesday.
Const. Babak Andalib-Goortani can be seen on video thrusting his baton at 30-year-old Adam Nobody after he was tackled to the ground by several officers at a G20 demonstration June 26, 2010, at the Ontario legislature.
The officer has testified that he did so because Nobody was resisting arrest, which Nobody denies.
The lawfulness of Nobody’s arrest is not in question, rather the judge must decide if the force Andalib-Goortani used was excessive. He has pleaded not guilty to assault with a weapon.
A photo of Nobody’s torso taken not long after the protest shows three bruises on his right side — two near the bottom of his rib cage and one on his hip. Forensic pathologist Dr. Christopher Milroy testified Wednesday that they are not consistent with bruises he would expect to see from baton jabs.
“You may get a sort of donut appearance…where you have a ring of bruising with an area of pallor,” Milroy said. “These are oval shaped and they appear to me to be much larger than the end of the asp (baton).”
The bruises don’t show “any typical features” of being caused by a baton, Milroy said. They could have been caused by hard punches, or knee strikes, or “more likely” by kicks, he said.
The bruises could have even been caused when Nobody fell to the ground when he was tackled, Milroy said. There is bone — ribs or the hip — under each of the areas where a bruise is seen, so the bruising may have been caused by the ground crushing the skin against the bone, he said.
Milroy agreed under cross-examination by Crown Attorney Philip Perlmutter that it’s “possible” a baton caused the injuries, but “less likely.”
All of the evidence has now been heard in the case and Ontario Court Judge Louise Botham will hear closing arguments on Friday.
Two Toronto police officers also testified Wednesday that they saw Nobody trying to incite the crowd at G20 protests hours before his arrest.
When Nobody testified earlier in the trial he portrayed himself as a bystander, mostly at the protest to observe, and said before his arrest he only interacted with police to question them about why they were arresting people in what he thought was a designated protest zone. He also dropped his water bottle behind a police line and said he argued with them for several minutes in an attempt to get it back.
The two officers testified that they saw Nobody shouting profanity at the police lines, yelling at the crowd that they didn’t have to obey police and threatening to kick officers in the head.
Police had already tried to arrest Nobody several times that day but he had slipped away, the officers said.