Zameer’s lawyer suggests police testimony was ‘fabricated’ in first-degree murder trial

Grainy security camera video is at the center of some tense moments in the first-degree murder trial of the man accused of running over a Toronto police officer, as his defense lawyer said police officers’ testimony It did not match what it shows and suggests. The officers were making up the story about him.

Attorney Nader Hasan contrasted what the video shows with the story police witnesses have shared, which is that Const. Jeffrey Northrup was standing with his arms outstretched and a police badge in his hand when he was struck head-on by Umar Zameer’s BMW.

“His hands hit the hood. He rises into the air. He bounces off the hood of the car. He lands on the ground,” testified Const. Toni Correa.

The video shows a partial view of what appears to be Zameer’s car lurching forward, reversing and then turning and driving toward the camera position.

Shortly after, Northrup’s partner Sgt. Lisa Forbes rushes to help Northrup, whose body is hidden in the video by the arm of the park gate.

“We see her. We don’t see Officer Northrup at all,” Nader said in a question to Correa.

“The video is choppy,” Correa responded.

“You don’t see any of those things, sir, because this is something you invented,” Nader insisted.

“That’s what I observed that night,” Correa said.

Hasan also showed a photo of the front of Zameer’s BMW, saying there is no damage consistent with hitting a 300-pound police officer.

Umar Zameer’s BMW after Const. Jeffrey Northrup was hit by the vehicle, showing no damage, in a court test.
Zameer faces a charge of first-degree murder in the death of Const. Jeffrey Northrup, run over just after Canada Day 2021 in the underground parking lot of Toronto City Hall.

Zameer pleaded not guilty and his lawyer said he was scared by plainclothes officers who he thought were trying to rob him and he fled in panic.

The accountant by profession says he was at Nathan Phillips Square with his pregnant wife and young son for Canada Day celebrations.

In re-examining Correa, Crown attorney Michael Cantlon noted that the video does not show the full extent of BMW’s move.

After Northrup was hit, Correa and his partner Scharnil Pais ran after the BMW in an unmarked police van, which they crashed into the BMW as it waited at the park exit. Correa arrested him at gunpoint and Pais punched him in the face.

Zameer’s wife and two-year-old son were in the car and she told the officers, “We didn’t know you were police officers,” Pais testified.

Two cars in front of Zameer’s BMW fled after the crash, crashing into the arms of the gate as they drove away, which was recorded by another surveillance camera.

Two people in those cars testified in Spanish that they heard police officers yell, “Get out!” and they were scared and left.

“The moment we saw the gun, we turned around and said, ‘Let’s go,’” said one witness, who asked that her name not be used in media coverage.

An issue at trial is whether the police officers identified themselves or were identifiable as such. Both witnesses in the unrelated cars testified that they did not see any police in the underground parking lot that night.

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