Protester Adam Nobody is appealing the sentence handed down to a Toronto police officer who beat him with a baton during the G20 summit in 2010.
Const. Babak Andalib-Goortani was convicted in September 2013 of assault with a weapon after Judge Louise Botham found he used excessive force during Nobody’s arrest on June 26, 2010, on the lawn of the Ontario legislature.
Andalib-Goortani was originally sentenced to 45 days in jail and released on bail pending an appeal. The appeal judge, Superior Court Justice Brian O’Marra, upheld the conviction but overturned the jail time, giving him probation and 75 hours of community service.
Then followed the Toronto police disciplinary hearing, where Judge Lee Ferrier reduced the sentence even further to five days’ docked pay, saying Andalib-Goortani “has already paid too large a price for his misdeeds.”
At a hearing Thursday before the Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC), which hears appeals of police disciplinary decisions, Nobody called the sentence “ridiculous.”
“[Andalib-Goortani] should be dismissed immediately,” he said.
“I spent 30 days in jail as a victim. I’ve spent seven years trying to get a semblance of justice.
“[Andalib-Goortani] is a liar. He’s of low moral character and tarnishes the police force … and weakens the trust of civilians.”
Nobody made much of letters presented at Andalib-Goortani’s sentencing hearing from friends, family and his real estate agent, who said they feared for the officer, saying he is “psychologically fragile” and “suffering from severe depression.”
Nobody said Andalib-Goortani should not have a gun if he is that fragile.
“I beg of you to strip this criminal of his badge,” Nobody said.
Jean lu, counsel for the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD), asked the panel to send the decision back because Ferrier made it on the basis of a factual error.
lu said the language and facts became watered down by the time the disciplinary hearing happened.
At the trial, Botham said Andalib-Goortani “gave forceful baton thrusts” and “stepped over the line.” But appeal judge O’Marra called Andalib-Goortani’s blows “prodding Mr. Nobody with his baton,” and described the injuries, bruises and a broken nose, as “fleeting and physically minor in nature” and “barely over the line of wrongfulness.”
Andalib-Goortani didn’t appear at the hearing, but his lawyer Harry Black said the officer’s life “was turned upside down.”
He said all the disciplinary hearing needed to know was that Andalib-Goortani assaulted Nobody and whether the blows were forceful is irrelevant.
“He was a credit to the force,” Black said. “Three years of good works at 31 Division and then he was thrown into a nightmare in policing conditions.
“It turned out to be traumatic situation, and then the cruel and heartless sentence of 45 days. He’s paid an enormous price.
“That penalty is fit. He’s paid the price — a big price.”
Andalib-Goortani was the only officer convicted in connection with the G20 summit.