Toronto G20: Do Not Allow Officer Baback Andalib-Goortani to return to the Police Force
This petition had 1,147 supporters
Officer Baback Andalib-Goortani has been convicted of Assault with a Weapon and has recently had his appeal dismissed, yet there is still a chance he could regain his position as an ARMED uniformed police officer. Please do not allow this to happen.
My name is Adam Nobody. On June 26th, 2010 I was at a peaceful demonstration at Queens Park in Toronto during the G20 conference. Queens Park was the designated peaceful protest area, the place where they told us we could go to protest and not be harmed.They lied! Charging they came and quite a bit of harm was delivered to us. At the hands of a multitude of officers I personally received a broken nose, a broken cheek bone, bruised ribs and a numerous other bruises and scrapes. I spent 31 hours in a makeshift jail with my injuries. Throughout the weekend over 1100 other people were arrested and crammed into ramshackle cages. We were denied phone calls, we were sparsely given food and water, many people didn't even know their charges or why they were even there. Many were strip searched and all were degraded. After my release I was charged with 'assault on an officer and obstruction of peace'. Amazingly the badge number indicated on my file as my arresting officer was made up and to this day they still do not know who my arresting officer was. I then spent three days in the hospital repairing my shattered face.
While out on bail, and restricted to living at my mothers house because one of my bail conditions was that I was banned from Downtown Toronto for the remainder of the conference and therefore not allowed to reside in my own house, I started to scour the internet for footage of my arrest or anything I thought pertained to me and the vicious assault I received. After seeing dozens of horrifying videos of others being assaulted I finally stumbled upon my own arrest footage. Here it is.
I contacted the gentleman that took the video, John Bridge, and he was more then willing to help me bring my case public. Once the video hit the news the Chief of Police, Bill Blair, publicly accused me on Canada wide radio of being "A Violent Armed Offender". Comments that he later had to publicly apologize for and retract once evidence proved that I was neither violent nor armed.
There was then a public outcry for the officers to come forward and identify themselves. Of course not a single officer did. The police service and SIU (Special Investigations Unit) both said that it was impossible to tell who any of the officers were mainly due to the fact that the officers had removed their name tags and badge numbers so no officers could be charged. Luckily for me The Toronto Star newspaper took offense to this and demanded justice. They blew up a still photo from the video of my arrest of an officer with his face clearly visible and asked if anyone could identify him. This ran on the cover of the paper for a few days. Finally another officer who was not involved in the incident came forward and identified the officer in the photo's as Baback Andalib- Goortani. With this new revelation and further examination of the video the SIU could now lay the charge of Assault With a Weapon against him.
Two and a half years later in the summer of 2013 after multiple postponements and delays we finally went to trial. As a witness for the prosecution I took the stand and for three days my integrity, honor and truthfulness was questioned by the officer's lawyer. After trying everything they could to undermine my character, they then went as far, as to suggest, that the water bottle I was carrying that day was a an explosive device and that I intended to use it to cause harm. The lawyers failed to convince the judge of this. Throughout the trial and during the closing arguments the officers lawyer kept on insisting that due to the public nature of his clients case that Andalib-Goortani had already suffered enough, that he was far too stressed out and distraught to be convicted and that he had received counseling to deal with his emotional breakdown. He then went on to say that anything other then a complete discharge would be inhumane.
Thankfully Judge Louise Botham was able to decipher fact from fiction and brought down a verdict of GUILTY of assault with a weapon. We rejoiced! Finally some vindication that myself and the 1100 other victims of G20 abuses could celebrate. Subsequently, he was sentenced to 45 days incarceration. She added "Citizens will respect the rule of law when they can be confident that those with the power to enforce our laws do so fairly. When that trust is abused citizens need to know that police will be held accountable." However the officer immediately appealed and was granted release and out on bail within hours. He did not serve a single moment behind bars. Let me remind you that I, as his victim, had to endure 31 hours in a cage with my face shattered after my G20 arrest. His lawyer made a point to inform the judge that Andalib-Goortani now suffers from Depession and Anxiety, and should have been granted not only leniency in his sentence but a full discharge because he had suffered enough already.
Fast forward another year (that he spent free from incarceration) to December 2014, and the appeal trial begins. His new lawyer argued that the conviction be over-turned on the grounds that the first Judge erred by not taking into account Andalib Goortani's mental state during his assault on me. That he was applying his "...best Judgement, not perfect judgement". He said that "The trial judge failed to consider Andalib-Goortani's mental intentions and erred in finding the officer used "unnecessary force by applying too strict a standard on his conduct." The crown countered that by saying "There's no basis of inference that the trial judge did hold the appellant to a standard of perfection. All the way through the judgment is in awareness of the contextual circumstances." The crown also defended the trial judges sentencing by stating it was appropriate because it "needed to give voice to principles of denunciation and deterrence." Basically that police needed to be sent a message that it is not okay to assault citizens and that citizens need to be assured of that knowledge. Andalib-Goortani's second lawyer now, also made a point of bringing up the continuance of his clients depression, anxiety and suffering that the trial is causing him, not the guilt of what he has done, but the effects of the trial on his life.
So just the other day, January 29th 2015, we reconvened in court to hear the appeal judges ruling on the matter. Andalib-Goortani's conviction was upheld and he remains Guilty of Assault With a Weapon. Woo-Hoo!! (That is now two judges that found him guilty of the offense.) However, the judge continued on to say, that instead of the 45 day jail sentence that was previously ordered the sentence will now be changed to nothing more the a year's probation and 75 hours community service.
Something you need to know is that if an officer spends even one day in jail they cannot maintain their position on the force and will lose their job. This brings us to our biggest concern and THE REASON FOR THIS PETITION. With this reduced sentence it now allows him the opportunity to stand before the Chief of Police and members of the tribunal and ask that he be reinstated and return to his job as a full police officer. A man that for whom his own lawyers have stressed and pleaded before the courts, that he suffers from depression and anxiety disorders and even deserves leniency in the judicial system because of it, may soon be given back the baton he used to assault me with, his gun and, worst of all, authority over civilians.
Even at the reading of the appeal decision, after he received his 75 hour community service order, his lawyer, with confidence, complained on his behalf, that he would have trouble completing the hours because it would interfere with his expected return to a full 7 day rotation on the police force. If I could scream in a courtroom, I would have right then! Really? The court ordered community service will interfere with his back to work rotation? Wow! I have spent quite a bit of time in courtrooms and hallways with him over the years and in my opinion this officer has shown no remorse throughout the trial, the appeal nor made any effort to take responsibility for his actions. Two judges in, both saying guilty and he still doesn't believe that he is.
So I plead to you The People of Toronto and beyond, Please sign this petition so when it comes time for him to stand in front of the Police Tribunal Board and the Chief of Police to face his charges of one count of discreditable conduct, two counts of insubordination and one count of unlawful or unnecessary exercise of authority that our voices are heard. Hopefully the Chief and his crew will take into serious consideration that we as citizens deserve better then having this man Baback Andalib- Goortani, a man convicted of assaulting a civilian with a weapon while on duty, name tag and badge removed, back on the force. We ask of the Chief and the board, that when this convicted criminal stands before them with his lawyers pleading for his job back, please do not forget your mission statement, that applies to all officers and begins with: "We are dedicated to delivering police services, in partnership with our communities, to keep Toronto the best and safest place to be." http://www.torontopolice.on.ca/mission-values.php
Thank you kindly for reading this and hopefully signing. The more signatures I can bring into his tribunal hearing, which I can guarantee you I'm going to be there for too, the bigger the impact it will have on the Chief and the Tribunal Board because they will see that we are united in this, we refuse to allow bullies to "SERVE AND PROTECT" over us.
If you would like to look into this matter with greater detail just Google Adam Nobody or G20 Toronto and you will find scores and scores of info and news articles.
To those of you that were affected by the events of that weekend, I hope this helps.
Today: Adam is counting on you
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