A grand jury’s decision to not convict Constable James Forcillo of second-degree murder in the shooting death of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim is sparking a heated online conversation about police brutality and accountability.

The jury’s verdict was announced earlier today after nearly 36 hours of deliberations. Forcillo was charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder after fatally shooting Yatim on a TTC streetcar in 2013. The teenager, who had reportedly been high on ecstasy, was armed with a small knife and ignored Forcillo’s calls to drop it. The incident was captured on a bystander’s cellphone and quickly went viral.

The high profile case was followed closely by Canadians nationwide. Immediately following the verdict many of them took to social media to express their disappointment and anger.

 

Toronto Mayor John Tory tweeted his sympathies to the Yatim family. Though he didn’t comment on the Forcillo verdict, the mayor did reiterate the Toronto Police Service’s goal of “zero injuries and zero deaths.”

Following the verdict, Forcillo was released on bail. His sentencing and motions are scheduled to be heard May 16 to 27.

Until then, Forcillo is suspended from the Toronto Police Service with pay.

 

©Feature image Joseph Morris

3 Comments

  1. Suspended with pay, aka VACATION!

  2. My friends and family here in the U.S. have frequently joked about emigrating to Canada in the event of a Trump presidency. It’s sad to know that Canada isn’t the Utopian safe haven we ignorantly perceive it to be. This is a heartbreaking miscarriage of justice!

    • It was definitely a disappointing verdict and I think it speaks to the extreme grey areas that exist within the law. There will likely be an appeal though, so this case is far from over. Thank you for reading!

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