Thursday, January 28, 2016

James Forcillo: Game-changing guilty verdict

Cop lawyer Peter Brauti has arguably been laying the groundwork for an appeal for months.
"I'll see you after lunch."

On the day Toronto Constable James Forcillo was found guilty of attempted murder in the shooting death of Sammy Yatim, there was no reaction from the man himself. The assembled media were looking for one, but true to form, Forcillo gave nothing away.

He was prepared for the worst. He had to be, given the video evidence showing him firing nine rounds in two separate volleys at close range at Yatim, six of them as the teen lay dying on the floor of a TTC streetcar.

For all the case's legal complexities and questions about the risky Crown strategy of laying two separate charges against Forcillo (second-degree murder and attempted murder), it was the raw footage of the incident caught at different angles by cameras inside the streetcar and the iPhones of several passersby that proved the game-changer. Without it, there likely would have been a different verdict. It was hard to watch it - as the jury had to dozens of times over the course of the three-month trial - and not be dumbstruck by Forcillo's actions.

But even before the ink was dry on the verdict, Forcillo's lawyer, Peter Brauti, was outside the courthouse creating more legal misdirection, arguing in a press scrum that the bystander video the jury saw on YouTube before the trial had "compromised" its impartiality. Not all members of the jury, mind you, he acknowledged.   (more...)

Further reflections:

Miguel Avila of Toronto Cop Watch outside the courthouse on Monday

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