Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Friend of Sammy Yatim dies in police shooting

Mean streets for Toronto's young men
Unlike Sammy Yatim’s final moments, the fatal police shooting of one of his friends late Sunday night happened in darkness and without a multitude of witnesses recording events by cellphone.

There likely will be little video footage or other evidence to prove or disprove what police say happened before 21-year-old Alex Wettlaufer died in an unlit North York park. Toronto police officers believed “absolutely” that Mr. Wettlaufer was armed, a police source said.

A family member was on the phone with him when he was shot, said one of Mr. Wettlaufer’s brothers. Based on the audio from that call, the family believes officers mistook his cellphone for a gun, said the brother.

“He held his hands up and said ‘I only have a phone’ – [then] boom, boom, boom,” he said on Monday, as family and friends gathered near the family’s home.

Like Mr. Yatim, shot by police on a streetcar in 2013, Mr. Wettlaufer was also near public-transit video surveillance in the minutes before his death. But that may not help, said a source from the Toronto Transit Commission, who said there’s a large “blind spot” at the North York station where Mr. Wettlaufer first came into contact with police, and it’s unclear if he was captured on video.

Mr. Wettlaufer, the second-youngest of 10 siblings who grew up in a public-housing complex a few minutes from where he was killed, had no police record, the brother said.  (more...)


No comments:

Post a Comment