POLITICS

Toronto cop found guilty of assaulting G20 protester back at work

02/18/2015 06:06 EST | Updated 04/20/2015 05:59 EDT
TORONTO - A Toronto police officer who was found guilty of assaulting a protester during the city's G20 summit four years ago is back at work.

Const. Babak Andalib-Goortani had been suspended without pay as his case worked its way through the courts, but his employment status was reviewed after an Ontario judge ruled on an appeal of his conviction last month.

In a decision delivered at the end of January, Superior Court Justice Brian O'Marra upheld Andalib-Goortani's conviction, but ruled he would not have to serve time in jail, sentencing him instead to one year of probation and 75 hours of community service.

A Toronto police spokeswoman says Andalib-Goortani has been returned to "administrative duties" at the force.

Meaghan Gray says those duties do not involve front-line police work.

An internal police disciplinary hearing is also currently underway for Andalib-Goortani, who faces one count of discreditable conduct, two counts of insubordination and one count of unlawful or unnecessary exercise of authority.

Andalib-Goortani was convicted in September 2013 of assault with a weapon for using excessive force during the arrest of a protester on June 26, 2010.

He was sentenced to 45 days behind bars, though he was almost immediately granted bail pending his appeal.

In that appeal, he had asked for an acquittal or a new trial, but also requested if his conviction couldn't be quashed that his sentence be changed to a discharge, suspended or that any custodial sentence be served intermittently.

The judge who presided over Andalib-Goortani's trial had found the officer hit protester Adam Nobody several times with his baton while the man was already on the ground, surrounded by other officers who were in the process of arresting him.

Nobody was offering minimal resistance and several other police officers were piled on top of him, trial judge Louise Botham found.

Botham also said Andalib-Goortani had shown no remorse and noted his name tag and badge weren't visible during the arrest.

Andalib-Goortani is one of only two officers who were criminally charged in relation to Toronto's violence-marred G20 summit in June 2010 in which a few dozen vandals rampaged through the downtown and police made unprecedented mass arrests that drew widespread condemnation.

The only other officer criminally charged in relation to the G20, Const. Glenn Weddell, was previously acquitted.