Thursday, July 28, 2016

Const. James Forcillo to be sentenced for attempted murder of Sammy Yatim

Three years and one day after Const. James Forcillo shot and killed Sammy Yatim on an empty Dundas streetcar, he will be sentenced for attempting to kill the dying teenager by firing another six shots.

It is rare for a police officer to be convicted of unjustified use of force and rarer still for police officers to be sentenced to jail time.

But Forcillo’s case, as was repeatedly said during a five-day sentencing hearing in May, is unique — he is the only officer in Canada to have been convicted of attempted murder with a firearm while on duty, according to his lawyers. He is also one of the few people to be convicted of attempted murder when the victim died.

Forcillo, 33, faces a mandatory minimum of five years, but his lawyers have argued such a sentence would be unconstitutional and “grossly disproportionate” for a lawfully armed police officer duty-bound to act to stop a threat. Instead, they argued he should serve two years of house arrest.

The Crown argued that by shooting at Yatim a further six times when he posed no threat, Forcillo seriously breached the duty of care he owed the teenager in a state of crisis. An appropriate sentence is between eight and 10 years, they argued.  (more...)

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