Counsel Alana Page persuaded the Judge to reject the police officers’ testimony that they had seen 3 males throw loaded handguns over the balcony as they executed a search warrant, and that the males attacked police during the subsequent arrest. The Court accepted Ms. Page’s submissions that her client had been had been kicked by police as he knelt to the ground, causing multiple injuries. Further, the other male who was arrested suffered a black eye, a fractured rib and a perforated eardrum at the hands of the police.

This case made headlines after the Judge ruled that the police used excessive force during the arrest. After hearing Ms. Page’s submissions, the Judge rejected the evidence of four Toronto Drug Squad police officers, and concluded that their testimony was fabricated to justify the injuries they caused. Given the questionable credibility of the police officers, both Accused were found not guilty on all charges.

After reading the transcripts of Ms. Page’s cross-examination of the police officers, the Special Investigations Unit arrested one of the police officers and charged him with Assault causing bodily harm and Uttering threats.


First Posted: Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010 11:23AM EST
Source: CTV
» PDF of CTV Article: SIU PROBE…

A Toronto Police officer has been charged with assault and uttering threats following a probe of old court transcripts by the province’s Special Investigations Unit.

The charges stem from an incident in June 2006.

At that time, Shayne Fisher was arrested and injured after the drug squad executed a search warrant on an apartment at 1550 Lawrence Avenue West. Fisher, who is now 26, was charged along with others.

Two years later, he and his co-accused were acquitted.

News reports at the time of acquittal said Superior Court Justice Brian Trafford ruled the men were “physically abused” by police during the raid and said there were questions about the evidence presented against them.

“Important parts of the evidence tendered against the defendants, at the preliminary hearing and at trial, have been found by the court to be unreliable, likely false,” Trafford wrote in his 2008 decision to acquit the accused.

The SIU reviewed trial transcripts and ruled that an officer committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident.

Det. Const. Gerrard Arulanandam is charged with:
-Assault Causing Bodily Harm
-Uttering Threats

The accused will appear in court on March 22.

The Special Investigations Unit is a civilian agency independent of police that examines cases involving officers and the public involving death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault.

The SIU examines whether an officer has committed a criminal offence and whether charges should be laid.


First Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2008 | 9:18 AM ET
Source: CBC News

A defence lawyer is calling on the Toronto Police Service to fire one of its officers.

A superior court judge declared that the officer used excessive force during a raid and gave “unreliable and likely false” testimony under oath.

The comments were aimed at Det.-Const. Gerrard Arulanandam, who was the first officer through the door in a June 2006 raid on a crack house on Lawrence Avenue West.

Arulanandam testified that he saw one of the suspects with a gun and told the court that the suspects resisted arrest.

In a ruling released last week, Justice Brian Trafford found that the officer’s testimony was unreliable and found that the police team physically abused the suspects. They were acquitted of the charges.

Alana Page, the defence lawyer for one of the men, called for charges against the officer involved.

“I think it’s a terrible, flagrant abuse of power, but then to go to court and perjure oneself in order to try to justify the use of that force is twice as offensive,” she said.

Page also wants the stiffest possible sanctions against Arulanandam.

“There’s really no justification for this man to continue to be a police officer. So if you ask me what I think should happen, I think he should be removed from the police force.”

Const. Wendy Drummond of the Toronto police says the officer has not been suspended.

“An officer’s credibility is extremely important to that officer and also to the Toronto Police Service and we have to maintain that level of confidence and trust in order for our judicial system to work,” said Drummond.

“Our professional standards unit has been made aware of the situation. We ordered a copy of the transcripts, we’d have to go through those and determine at that point whether an internal investigation is warranted or not,” she said.


First Posted: Mnoday, January 28 2013
Source: The Toronto Star

Two separate criminal trials opened Monday involving Toronto police officers charged by SIU years after the incidents.

The alleged police brutality case that almost never came to court began Monday, seven years after drug squad officers stormed a west-end Toronto apartment.

Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit didn’t learn about the June 7, 2006, incident until its officials read a Star report on a judge’s findings in the case.

In June 2008, Superior Court Justice Brian Trafford threw out firearms charges against Shayne Fisher and his co-accused, ruling that police had physically abused them and much of the officers’ testimony was “unreliable, likely false.”

All Ontario police services are under a legal obligation to immediately notify the SIU of incidents of serious injury, allegations of sexual assault, or death involving their officers.

Three years ago, the SIU announced it had charged Det.-Const. Gerrard Arulanandam with assault causing bodily harm and uttering threats. The officer has pleaded not guilty.

Fisher suffered a fractured rib, perforated eardrum and badly swollen eye while being arrested.

The 29-year-old carpenter testified Monday he was listening to music and smoking a joint in a neighbour’s apartment on Lawrence Ave. W., near Keele St., when police crashed through the door.

Fisher, who has no criminal record, immediately got down on the ground and was kicked multiple times, which left a “boot print on the side of my face,” he told Superior Court Justice Harriet Sachs, who is hearing the case without a jury.

He testified he was struck 10 to 20 times in the back and kidney area with a metal object, before a bald “very imposing, big man” picked him up by his shirt collar and kneed him three or four times in the ribs, “asking me where are the drugs.”

Fisher testified the officer told him: “If you ask for a hospital, I’m going to be the one who takes you and you’ll really need it.”

Crown Attorney Peter Scrutton asked Fisher if he has filed a lawsuit against police.

“I’m not looking for vengeance or monetary compensation,” he replied.

During cross-examination, defence lawyer Peter Brauti produced a typewritten letter Fisher dictated to his mother from the Toronto “Don” Jail two or three days after his arrest.

The letter said an officer, referred to as a racial slur, had kicked him in the head repeatedly, though he testified Monday that he could not identify which officer was responsible for the kicks. The letter also failed to refer to Fisher’s witness box assertion that Arulanandam delivered three knee strikes.

“You never mentioned that . . . it’s shocking isn’t it?” Brauti asked. “It is,” agreed Fisher.

An unrelated, yet similar trial, this one in front of a jury, also got underway Monday involving Toronto police officer Boris Petkovic. He is charged with aggravated assault for shooting a man on Aug. 20, 2007. Petkovic has pleaded not guilty.

Like the Arulanandam case, the SIU laid the charge only after becoming aware of the allegations years after the fact.

The incident took place on Eglinton Ave. E., between Bermondsey Rd. and Victoria Park Ave., after Petkovic pulled over a BMW being driven by Phabien Rhodius, on bail at the time in relation to firearms charges in Brampton.

“The real issue in this case is whether the shooting was a justified use of force,” Crown Attorney John McInnes told the jury.

After serving a sentence on the firearms charge, Rhodius contacted the police watchdog believing it had his BMW. The SIU had no record of the case, McInnes told jurors.

“They asked Rhodius to explain what had happened. Then they opened an investigation… which led ultimately to the charge before you today.”

The trials continue.


First Posted: July 5, 2008
Source: Rave News

Firearms Charges Thrown Out After Testimony of Drug Squad Officers
Called ‘Unreliable, Likely False’

A judge has thrown out firearms charges against two men, ruling that drug squad officers storming a west Toronto apartment used excessive force, and that much of their testimony is “unreliable, likely false.”

Ontario Superior Court Justice Brian Trafford entered findings of not guilty for Shayne Fisher, 24, and Valter Almeida, 23, who were arrested when police battered down the door of a known crack house on Lawrence Ave. W., west of Keele St.

“Clearly, the defendants were physically abused by the TPS (Toronto Police Service) when they were arrested on June 7, 2006,” Trafford said in his 81-page ruling, released in written form this week.

“Other legal rights, such as the right of Mr. Fisher to retain and instruct counsel, were also infringed.”

Seven drug squad officers barged into the apartment to execute a drug search warrant. Almeida, Fisher and their friend and apartment resident Steven Ruiz, who the judge found to be a crack dealer, were inside. Ruiz has pleaded guilty to charges arising from the raid. He testified he threw all three handguns in the apartment over the balcony just before police broke through his door. All three men testified they did not resist arrest, but were beaten anyway.

Defence lawyers Allan Lobel, acting for Fisher, and Alana Page, acting for Almeida, argued that police fabricated evidence.

Lobel said yesterday that Fisher “is elated” with the ruling. He said it was clear that officers made up the evidence of resisting arrest to justify the excessive force that sent four of five suspects to hospital.

The building superintendent and a neighbour testified they heard the screams and yells of people apparently in pain coming from the flat. Trafford found that the screaming was caused by “the infliction of these injuries” by police.

Fisher suffered a fractured rib, a perforated right eardrum, and bruising around the right eye. Dr. Brian Goldman, who examined him at Mount Sinai Hospital, said a minimum of four blows caused the injuries.

The judge said he believed Fisher when he testified that Det.-Const. Gerrard Arulanandam threatened him with further bodily harm if he asked for medical attention when he arrived at the police station.

Almeida suffered abrasions on his forehead, back, neck and legs. His nose was bloodied. Although the living room and dining room were stained with considerable fresh blood, police officers did not photograph it, the judge noted.

Trafford also found that two other men, Kenneth Yu and Manuel Perea, were unlawfully arrested.

The judge ruled that important parts of the evidence gathered by police against the defendants were “unreliable, likely false.”

Trafford found that police tried to justify their use of force by alleging Fisher had a handgun, which they said he tossed toward the balcony, where they claimed Ruiz and Almeida were situated, apparently acting in concert with him. “This allegation is, at best, unreliable and likely false,” the judge said.