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Zameer’s lawyer suggests police testimony ‘made up’ in first-degree murder trial

A grainy security camera video is at the heart of some tense moments at the first-degree murder trial of the man accused of running down a Toronto police officer, as his defense lawyer said testimony from police officers didn’t match what it shows and suggested the officers were making their story up.

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

“His hands hit the hood. He goes up in the air. He bounces off the hood of the car. He lands forward on the floor,” testified Const. Tony Correa.

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

Shortly afterwards, Northrup’s partner Sgt. Lisa Forbes, rushes to aid Northrup, whose body is obscured in the video by a parkade gate arm.

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

“The video is choppy,” responded Correa.

“You don’t see any of those things, sir, because this is something you have made up,” Nader pressed.

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

Hasan also showed a photo of the front of Zameer’s BMW, saying there’s 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 exhibit.
Zameer is facing a first-degree murder charge in the death of Const. Jeffrey Northrup, who was run over just after Canada Day 2021 in the underground parkade at Toronto City Hall.

Zameer has pleaded not guilty, and his lawyer has said he was spooked by plainclothes officers who he thought were trying to rob him, and took off in a panic.

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

In re-examination of Correa, crown attorney Michael Cantlon pointed out that the video doesn’t show the full extent of the BMW’s movement.

After Northrup was struck, Correa and his partner Scharnil Pais rushed after the BMW in an unmarked police van, which they slammed into the BMW as it waited at the exit to the parkade. 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 cops,” Pais has testified.

Two cars in front of Zameer’s BMW fled after the takedown, smashing into the gate arms as they drove off, which was recorded by another surveillance camera video.

Two people in those cars testified in Spanish that they heard police officers yelling, “Out!” and were scared, so they drove off.

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

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

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