Thursday, January 28, 2016

Tasering of Sammy Yatim after being shot might be a chargeable offence

Sgt. Dan Pravica, seen in video surveillance from aboard the streetcar, enters the vehicle after
Tasering Sammy Yatim
As the case against Const. James Forcillo winds its way through the courts, there are growing calls for a review of all the evidence presented at trial to see if other criminal charges can be laid, especially against the officer who Tasered Sammy Yatim after he had been shot.

“Everything should be a given a review in the face of the evidence at trial,” said criminal defence lawyer Reid Rusonik, who, like all lawyers in this story, was not involved in the case.

Lawyer Peter Rosenthal told the Star he believes Sgt. Dan Pravica — who Tasered Yatim on an empty streetcar in July 2013 after he was shot by Forcillo — should be charged at least with assault.

“As Sammy Yatim lay on the floor of the streetcar, he did not pose any danger to anyone,” Rosenthal said.

“Thus, Tasering him was a completely unjustified assault. We cannot know if Mr. Yatim felt any effect of the Tasering as he died, but it was an assault in any event. If Mr. Yatim was actually dead by then, it would be an attempted assault. The officer should be charged.”

Another potential charge could be indignity to a body, he suggested, if it can be proven Pravica knew Yatim was dead before Tasering him.  (more...)

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