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Friday, March 08, 2013

Judge Give Toronto Cop A Free Pass

Judge criticizes Toronto police officer, but clears him of assaulting man during raid

A judge acquits a Toronto police officer of assaulting a man 
during a raid, but she slams cops for inconsistent testimony.

A judge has acquitted a Toronto police constable of beating a man during a drug and guns raid seven years ago, but not before she criticized his credibility and that of his fellow officers.
Ontario Superior Court Justice Harriet Sachs said that while she did not believe police officers about what happened in the apartment, she was left with a reasonable doubt that Const. Gerrard Arulanandam assaulted Shayne Fisher.
“At the end of the day, while I am very concerned about the behaviour of the police in the apartment that night and concerned about their lack of truthfulness before me about the events,” difficulties in the Crown’s case leave a reasonable doubt as to his guilt, Sachs said Friday.
She acquitted him of assault causing bodily harm and uttering threats.
The raid for drugs and guns took place in a Lawrence Ave. W. apartment on June 7, 2006.
Carpenter Shayne Fisher, who testified he was simply visiting a friend there, suffered a fractured rib, perforated eardrum, and badly swollen eye. He has no criminal record.
The case did not come to the attention of investigators until The Star ran a story reporting on a 2008 decision by Ontario Superior Court Justice Brian Trafford, which threw out firearms charges against Fisher and another man, ruling the Toronto drug squad officers used excessive force.
When the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) — which probes all serious civilian injuries and deaths involving police — read the story it began an investigation. Police are supposed to report serious civilian injuries to the SIU.
Arulanandam had no comment after the ruling. More than 50 police officers in civilian clothes packed the University Ave. courtroom to hear the judge deliver her verdict.
Arulanandam hugged several afterwards, while others slapped his back.
Defence lawyer Peter Brauti said he is happy with the result but he said he thought “the court was overly critical of police.”
Such trials try to recreate circumstances that happened more than half a decade ago, Brauti said. “That’s not an easy job.”
Toronto Police Association president Mike McCormack echoed Brauti’s comments about the difficulty of recreating events years ago.
“We are definitely concerned about the comments that were made --- but again—in the context of what’s occurred here—we understand the difficulty the judge had in understanding some of that.”
Crown prosecutor Peter Scrutton had no comment.
After the verdict, the complainant, Fisher, called the police evidence “perpetual lies.”
 from By: Peter Small 
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