Aug 20, 2013
By Jane Brown
In the shooting death which has captured the nation’s attention and prompted debate about police use of force, Constable James Forcillo has been remanded until September 30th. The six year Toronto Police officer and married father of two appeared at Old City Hall court this morning, accused of second degree murder in the killing of 18 year old Sammy Yatim on a Dundas streetcar last month. He now goes to 361 University Avenue for a 2pm Ontario Superior Court bail hearing. Experts suggest Forcillo will receive bail as long as he meets certain conditions.
Sammy Yatim was alone on a streetcar and wielding a knife when it appears police fired nine shots at him, then tasered him just after midnight July 27th. Witnesses with smartphones and surveillance video recorded the incident. Legal expert Peter Rosenthal says the recordings will be central in the case against the Toronto Police officer. He tells CTV News, “the case is very strong against him based on the video evidence. We’ll see if the officer tries to give some sort of explanation or justification for shooting this young man in spite of the video. But it’s hard to imagine what he could come up with.”
Constable Forcillo is just the third officer to be charged with murder in Ontario since the province’s Special Investigations Unit began in 1990. He is the second Toronto officer to face such a charge.