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A Toronto jury on Jan. 25, 2016, found Constable James Forcillo guilty of attempted murder in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim on July 27, 2013. The teenager was shot by Const. Forcillo while aboard a Toronto streetcar.
Forcillo vehemently denied the charges of second-degree murder and attempted murder during the two-year long trial, arguing he acted in self-defense. The officer fired nine shots, of which eight struck Yatim. Evidence was brought before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice that the teen was high on drugs and his behaviour of “pulling a small knife” caused other passengers to panic and call 911. Forcillo told the jury that he believed the teenager was going to harm the officers who had responded to the emergency call.
Many people on social media believe that the Toronto officer has got away with murder. One socialite posted on twitter, “Attempted? Shocked! Another cop gets away with murder.” Another twitted, “Justice has not prevailed in this case.”
Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders was however cagey on the use of force by police officers. Saunders told reporters “Whenever police take a life, tough questions must be asked and questioned.” He went on to say that he will not discuss the verdict as the case is still before the courts.
By Shepherd Mutsvara
CTV News: Const. Forcillo Found Guilty of Attempted Murder
Image Courtesy of William Mewes’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License