Photographic evidence ruled inadmissible.
The cover of the Toronto Star on December 9, 2010.
Constable Babak Andalib-Goortani, convicted last year of assault with a weapon in the G20 beating of protestor Adam Nobody, has been cleared of a second assault charge stemming from an incident involving former Torontoist writer Wyndham Bettencourt-McCarthy.
On Saturday, June 26, 2010—the same day Nobody was arrested—Bettencourt-McCarthy was reporting for Torontoist on G20 protests at Queen’s Park, when a badgeless police officer struck her with his baton.
While the Nobody case relied on a YouTube video of the altercation, this one rested on a single photo, reproduced above, which showed a visored, badgeless police officer poised to strike Bettencourt-McCarthy. The officer in question bears a remarkable resemblance in dress, demeanour, and appearance to Andalib-Goortani, and the Crown expected that the identification would be confirmed during a trial. Because this photo, though, had been posted anonymously on g20justice.com, it could not be authenticated—and Superior Court Justice Gary Trotter recently ruled it inadmissible at trial.
The Crown, then, led no evidence—and, after a trial that lasted only about two minutes, Andalib-Goortani was acquitted of the charge. The Crown now has the option to lodge an appeal of Superior Court Justice John McMahon’s decision.
Andalib-Goortani is appealing his conviction in the Nobody case—which resulted in a sentence of 45 days in jail. The appeal should go before the courts in November.