Thursday, July 28, 2016

Toronto officer Const. James Forcillo sentenced six years for shooting death of teen Sammy Yatim

Sammy Yatim's mother Sahar Bahadi embraces her daughter Sarah
Constable James Forcillo, the police officer who shot 18-year-old Sammy Yatim several times on an empty TTC streetcar, resulting in the teen’s death, has been sentenced to six years in prison.

Forcillo was found guilty of attempted murder in January of this year, but was acquitted of second-degree murder.

The Toronto police constable fatally shot Yatim in July, 2013 when the teen was seen brandishing a knife on a TTC streetcar. The officer shot Yatim three times, then unleashed a second volley of shots.

In rendering his verdict, Ontario Superior Court Justice Edward Then noted Forcillo deserved “at least the mandatory minimum of five years," though he acknowledged the Crown’s requests for eight to 10 years was excessive.

The trial hinged largely on video footage of the shooting, which Ed Upinieks, a lawyer for Yatim’s family, noted bolstered the case. Forcillo’s defence team had attempted to argue the second volley of shots came as Yatim was trying to get back up, something Justice Then disagreed with, calling the shots “unreasonable, unnecessary and excessive.”

“The video doesn’t lie,” Upinieks told reporters outside the courthouse. “(Videos) were compiled second by second, movement by movement, so everybody could see what actually happened.”  (more...)

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