Babak Andalib-Goortani, one of the police officers charged in relation to the G20 Summit has been sentenced to probation and community service in relation to his conviction for assaulting a protester. Diana Mehta of the Canadian Press reports that the court found Andalib-Goortani repeatedly struck the victim while he was surrounded by other officers and offering little resistance. According to Mehta, the victim’s injuries as the result of the arrest were a broken nose, facial fracture and bruised ribs.
The court also found that officer Andalib-Goortani had no remorse.
This case shows that probation and community service is an available sentence to those accused people who beat others with a baton while being held down by people in their party. Police officers hold a special position in society, a position of trust where they granted special powers to arrest and detain people. It should also be noted that the officer in this case beat and unarmed person with a weapon breaking their nose injuring their face with a baton, that the officer did not plead guilty and accept responsibility for the offence, and that he did not show any remorse. Despite that position of trust and power, the beating with a weapon of an unarmed person causing serious injury, and the fact the officer was not remorseful, the court saw fit to sentence the officer to probation.
One cannot conclude that this case stands for the proposition that police officers should not be sentenced as harshly as civilians. Could it be that factors like injury to the victim, viciousness of the attack and lack of remorse are not necessarily significant factors in sentencing people convicted of assault, assault with a weapon or other types of assaults?