Oct 30, 2015

By Bob Komsic

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Police are legally permitted to use deadly force  – but only if it’s reasonable and necessary.

TORONTO, ONTARIO: Thursday, August 14, 2014 - Deputy Chief Michael Federico sits at the Toronto Police Services Board meeting at Police Headquarters in Toronto, Ontario on Thursday, August 14, 2014.  Federico's name has been floated as a possible contender for future police chief.  (Laura Pedersen/National Post)  (For Toronto story by Natalie Alcoba)  //s3.amazonaws.comNATIONAL POST STAFF PHOTO

That’s what Deputy Chief Michael Federico told the trial of Constable James Forcillo, who’s accused of gunning down a teen armed with a knife aboard an empty streetcar in July 2013.
Federico told the court, officers are taught the use of lethal force must be objectively reasonable to preserve life or prevent serious injury.
He added an officer must also use the minimal force required to neutralize a threat.
The deputy chief says training involves role-playing in likely scenarios but there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.
Instead, Federico says officers are taught to consider the entirety of the circumstances when deciding on force options.
He told the trial police should always try to de-escalate a situation, preferably by talking.
If a person is not complying, then Federico says needs to re-evaluate.
Constable Forcillo has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder.
The court has seen videos of the incident in which the officer drew his gun, ordered 18-year-old Sammy Yatim to drop his knife, but he didn’t and then nine shots were fired.
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