The provincial Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has charged Constable Forcillo with second-degree murder. This is only the seventh time that a police officer has been charged with murder since the SIU came into being in 1990, and not a single Toronto police officer has ever been convicted of murder – so far.
But, Lawyer Peter Rosenthal, who is representing the family of another Toronto man killed by the police, has said that the extensive video record of Yatim’s shooting could make the difference.
In any event, Forcillo’s being charged will hopefully result in arrogant, trigger-happy police yahoos thinking twice before killing people in future.
I don’t expect there to be much sympathy for “poor judgement” where the use of deadly force by a seasoned professional is concerned, and there’s no doubt in my mind that Forcillo “executed” Yatim for no apparent good reason.
The Toronto Police Association will of course go totally mental, and the police as a whole will harden their attitudes and “dig in”. Thus, the battle-lines are drawn, and we the public had better make sure we win.
Chief Blair’s appointment of a former Associate Chief Justice to “review” police procedures is suspect, as the ex-judge works with a law firm that represents the Police Services Board.
But now that charges have been laid, all inquiries, although perhaps not the one commissioned by Chief Blair, will be cast into limbo. But for what it’s worth, in my opinion Blair is as much the enemy as the “Blue Wall”, although for different reasons.
As far as the public interest is concerned, I feel that the Yatim killing should be regarded as a symptom of a far deeper malaise, as well as an issue in its own right. I want a full Royal Inquiry into the police “Blue Wall” culture, with the use of steroids being investigated as an important element of the phenomenon.
It really annoys me to have to side with the “left” on issues of police brutality. They do that as an instinctive knee-jerk reaction regardless of validity, I had to be dragged into it because until a few years ago I tended to support the police and give them the benefit of the doubt wherever possible.
But their increasing involvement in enforcing “political correctness” indicates that “without fear or favour” has been abandoned in favour of pandering to their political bosses, and their disgusting exhibition during the G20 disturbances revealed a new agenda, the use of “police safety” as an excuse not just to shirk their responsibilities, but also to justify the use of force on the slightest pretext in order to “defend” themselves.
This is intolerable, and the whole rotten edifice of their self-serving “culture” has to be smashed.
It’s time to clean up the mess and throw out the garbage.
See “Toronto police killing: Was P.C. Forcillo taking steroids?” (August 3rd, 2013) here.