Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto Cop Sentenced to 45 Days in Jail for G20 Assault, Intends to Appeal

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toronto Cop Sentenced to 45 Days in Jail for G20 Assault, Intends to Appeal

Article excerpt

G20 cop sentenced to 45 days in jail

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BRAMPTON, Ont. - A Toronto police officer convicted of assaulting a protester during the G20 summit was sentenced Monday to 45 days behind bars, though he was almost immediately granted bail pending an appeal.

Const. Babak Andalib-Goortani, 33, was convicted in September of assault with a weapon for using excessive force during the arrest of protester Adam Nobody on June 26, 2010, on the lawn of the Ontario legislature.

His lawyer, Harry Black, urged the judge to give the officer an absolute discharge, saying his client has suffered enough with depression, anxiety and the break-up of his marriage after he was charged. Andalib-Goortani's "fragile" mental state has only worsened since his conviction, Black said.

But Ontario Court Judge Louise Botham said that a discharge would be "contrary to the public interest," nor would a sentence served in the community be adequate.

"Citizens will respect the rule of law when they can be confident that those with the power to enforce our laws do so fairly," Botham said as Andalib-Goortani held his head in his hands. "When that trust is abused citizens need to know that police will be held accountable."

Botham was brought in from outside Toronto specially to hear the case and the sentencing took place Monday in Brampton, Ont., where she normally sits. About 10 minutes after Botham read her sentence another lawyer was in a courtroom in Toronto securing bail for Andalib-Goortani pending an appeal.

Andalib-Goortani was granted $7,500 bail and as one of the conditions he must get another job if he is suspended without pay from the force.

Under the Police Services Act a suspended police officer in Ontario must be paid until they are sentenced to a term of imprisonment. Once that happens a police chief "may" suspend an officer without pay even while an appeal is in the works. Mark Pugash, the director of corporate communications for the Toronto Police, said Andalib-Goortani is now being suspended without pay.

Once the appeal process concludes, Andalib-Goortani will go through the internal police discipline process, which could see him lose his job with the police service entirely. …

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