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Man accused of killing Toronto police officer pleads not guilty to 1st-degree murder

The face of Toronto Police officer Jeffrey Northrup is seen on a plasma screen at his his funeral service, in Toronto on July 12, 2021. Jury selection is expected to begin today in the trial of a man accused of killing a Toronto police officer nearly three years ago. Umar Zameer is charged with first-degree murder in the the death of Const. Jeffrey Northrup. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

TORONTO — A man accused of killing a Toronto police officer nearly three years ago pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder Monday as jury selection began in his trial.

Umar Zameer is charged in the death of Const. Jeffrey Northrup.

Northrup, 55, died on July 2, 2021, after being struck by a vehicle as he was responding to a report of a robbery in a parking lot at Toronto City Hall. Another plainclothes officer was also injured.

Zameer's defence lawyer made a brief statement outside the courthouse Monday afternoon, urging the public to let go of any preconceived notions they may have about the case.

"When I addressed the public nearly three years ago about this case, I simply asked ... to keep an open mind about this case because there's so much more to it than the inaccurate and sensational snippets that emerged in the media. I promised that in due time the truth will emerge," Nader Hasan said.

"We are hopeful that this trial will be that time."

Zameer was granted bail in the fall of 2021, but the reasons for the decision and evidence presented in court are covered by a standard publication ban.

Jury selection is set to continue Tuesday morning. The trial is expected to last five weeks.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 18, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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