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Police officers called to testify…

Police officers called to testify by the Crown lied repeatedly under oath at the trial of a man accused of killing a Toronto police officer nearly three years ago, defence counsel said to a packed courtroom during closing arguments on Wednesday. 

Umar Zameer, 34, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Det.-Const. Jeffrey Northrup, 55, on July 2, 2021. Northrup was run over by a car in a parking garage under Toronto City Hall while investigating a stabbing with his partner, Sgt. Lisa Forbes. 

Zameer has testified he didn’t know Northrup and Forbes —  who were in plain clothes —  were police officers and he got scared when two strangers rushed towards his car in the largely empty parking lot shortly after midnight.

Defence counsel Nader Hasan told the court Wednesday that three officers who witnessed the incident, including Forbes, lied in the witness box when they testified Northrup was standing up in the middle of the laneway in front of Zameer’s car, with his hands outstretched, when he was run over. 

“[Northrup] was never standing up in the middle of laneway one with his arms up, bracing for impact,” Hasan said. “That was a complete lie.”

Two crash reconstruction experts, one of them called by the Crown, told the court they concluded Northrup was knocked down by the car reversing and was already on the ground when he was run over by it moving forward.

Defence counsel also referred to security camera footage of the parking garage showing an unidentified object, believed to be Northrup, appear on the ground in front of the car, as it drives forward in the laneway.

The three officers were “exactly the same and equally wrong” in their descriptions of the moment before Northrup was hit, Hasan said. 

WATCH | The prosecution’s case against Zameer: 

The case against Umar Zameer, accused in Toronto cop’s death

20 hours ago

Duration 5:14

Umar Zameer has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Det.-Const. Jeffrey Northrup, who died after he was hit by a car in an underground parking garage in Toronto on July 2, 2021. CBC’s Greg Ross breaks down the evidence presented in court.

Officers Antonio Correa and Scharnil Pais, both testified that Northrup fell on the hood after he was hit, and then slid off — a specific detail that was not supported by physical evidence or expert analysis, defence said. Hasan said the two officers wrote their police notes about the incident together, and then lied in the witness box about doing so. 

Though Correa testified he wrote his police notes alone, and Pais said he couldn’t remember where he was at the time he wrote his, another officer, Det.-Const. Ryan D’Souza, testified all the officers were all in the same room when they wrote their notes. 

“[Correa and Pais] colluded together, and then lied about colluding together,” Hasan said. “They lied in this court and they lied unapologetically.” 

Northrup’s widow was present during the defence’s closing statements and appeared to shake her head repeatedly as the defence said the three officers had lied on the stand. 

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