Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Man Accusing Police of Assault during G20 Protest Was No Bystander: Lawyer

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Man Accusing Police of Assault during G20 Protest Was No Bystander: Lawyer

Article excerpt

Man was no bystander, G20 cop trial told

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TORONTO - A man accusing a Toronto police officer of assaulting him during G20 protests was not the bystander he claims to have been, rather he was one of the agitators, the officer's lawyer suggested Thursday.

Adam Nobody, a 30-year-old stage hand, has testified he spent much of June 26, 2010, playing video games, unaware that radical elements had broken out of a peaceful march of G20 demonstrators and were breaking windows and setting fire to police cars.

When he did go to the Ontario legislature -- an area designated as the protest zone -- he didn't like what he saw, as police started arresting people, so he confronted them, but wasn't aggressive and didn't swear, he said.

He sat on a curb and chatted for a while with a friend, he said. Nobody was knocked from behind by a police line and he dropped his water bottle containing whisky and water, he said. Not allowed to retrieve it from behind the police line he left the park to buy more booze, he said.

Nobody returned with a six-pack of beer and a bristol board, on which he wrote "Let Donna graduate," a reference to the TV show "Beverly Hills, 90210," he said.

It was as Nobody was colouring in the letters that he saw a police line advancing so he got up and walked away and that's when he was tackled by police, he said. Nobody alleges he was hit several times by the officers. Const. Babak Andalib-Goortani has pleaded not guilty to assault with a weapon.

Andalib-Goortani's lawyer, Harry Black, presented a very different version of events than Nobody's self-described meandering afternoon.

Nobody was really there all afternoon, taunting the police lines, yelling at the crowd that they didn't have to obey police orders, Black suggested.

One police inspector gave a statement quoting Nobody as egging on the crowd, "Saying screw the police...we don't have to go," Black read from the statement. "We're going to stand. We're going to fight."

Not true, Nobody said.

Black showed a photo of the friend that Nobody chatted with carrying a sign saying, "The government lies to us. The media hypnotizes and manipulates us. The banks steal from us. …

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