Five observations on Const. James Forcillo’s attempted murder conviction in the Sammy Yatim shooting death…
All emphasis added by me – JG.
“Six seconds later, with Yatim now crumpled to the ground on that same streetcar, still clutching the knife but with his spine severed and mortally wounded, the jury had no doubts about Forcillo’s intention when he fired a second volley of shots… he was trying to kill Sammy Yatim.” – Toronto Sun, “Jury knew what Forcillo was trying to do with second volley of shots” – Jan. 25th.
“Police are eager enough to promote the value of video when it serves their purpose. The first thing investigators do after a crime is look for footage and images from surveillance cameras in the area. Civilians are encouraged to turn over their cellphone videos as a public duty. But when the evidence implicates a cop, it’s autopsied from here to next week so that usefulness is deflected, buried beneath mounds of distracting minutiae, or its inclusion is furiously repulsed in pre-trial hearings.” – Rosie DiManno, “History and propaganda repeat themselves when police kill civilians” – Toronto Star, Jan. 27th, 2016.
“McCormack said frontline officers are “shocked” by the verdict, which might also adequately describe how the general public received the news. A cop in this city, on the job and in uniform, held accountable for shooting someone? Found guilty in court? It has, as far as anyone can tell, never happened in Toronto before.” – Edward Keenan, Toronto Star – Jan 25th.
“Clearly this sends a chilling message to our members and our goal is to keep our members engaged, keep them out there doing their job, but when you have an officer who is vindicated for the first three shots… who said, listen, my training, I made a mistake, and then he’s put in this position, it sends a chilling message.” -Mike McCormack, President of the Toronto Police Association.
“Coming after the officer’s preliminary hearing, the new – and exceptionally rare – charge made a seeming contradiction. The Crown was alleging Forcillo both attempted to murder and murdered Yatim… The legal and policing community responded with bewilderment. This was a “head-scratcher,” a “mystery”. But after a three-month trial and six days of jury deliberation, it was the only charge that stuck. – Toronto Star, “Mystery charge only one that sticks in Sammy Yatim slaying” – Jan. 5th.