Jul 31, 2013

By Jane Brown

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While Sammy Yatim’s family prepares for his funeral tomorrow morning, the Toronto police officer at the centre of the streetcar shooting investigation has been identified by his lawyer.  Constable James Forcillo is a 6 year officer, currently assigned to 14 division near where the shooting took place early on Saturday at Dundas and Grace Streets.  Toronto Police Association President Mike McCormack refused to confirm the officer’s identity, but said “the officer is distraught and is having a tough time with it.”  Forcillo’s lawyer, Peter Brauti, agreed that his client is “devastated.”  He went on to say, “it’s important that people not rush to judgement in this matter, which is being investigated by the province’s special investigations unit.”

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford made his first public comments about the shooting yesterday.  “My condolences, my sympathies, my prayers go out to the family.  I’m very sorry what happened to the young man.  But I can’t comment.  The S.I.U is investigating.  It’s unfortunate, sad, but none of us know all the facts, so I know as much as you do right now, and that’s all I can say.”

Eighteen-year-old Sammy Yatim died in what the S-I-U calls an “interaction” with police.  Surveillance and cellphone video shows Yatim pacing the empty streetcar as shouts of “drop the knife” are heard before 9 shots are fired.

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