Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Hard to know what to make of changing testimony from police witness to Yatim shooting

It was a beautiful teachable moment, as the saying goes, and Toronto police Const. Iris Fleckeisen grabbed it by the throat.

The woman who was partnered with Const. James Forcillo the night he shot Sammy Yatim was being grilled about her startling lack of recollection, and ever-changing recollection, of the evening’s critical events.

The 32-year-old Forcillo is pleading not guilty to second-degree murder and attempted murder in the July 27, 2013 shooting.

For instance, prosecutor Ian Bulmer pointed out, Fleckeisen first told the Special Investigations Unit — the independent agency which in Ontario immediately takes charge of lethal or serious police encounters — that she didn’t remember when she’d re-holstered her weapon.

That’s understandable — the standoff left the 18-year-old Yatim dead from eight of nine shots Forcillo fired and undoubtedly shook many of those who saw it, and Fleckeisen spoke to the SIU the day after.

But, by the time the 49-year-old officer testified at Forcillo’s preliminary hearing about a year later, she’d seen some (but not all) of the reams of available video, which apparently didn’t show her with her weapon drawn.

She concluded she hadn’t drawn it, adjusted her evidence to suit the video, and thus testified under oath at the prelim that she had not in fact ever got out her gun.  (more...)

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