twitter reactions to forcillo trial perfectly summarize disappointment in verdict
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.
Bizarre jury verdict. “We think he should’ve been shot, just not shot that much.” Ripe for appeal. #Forcillo
— Warren Kinsella (@kinsellawarren) January 25, 2016
— WHYWHYWHY (@RUSerious_Why) January 25, 2016
— Cath Action (@CathAction) January 8, 2016
For those confused by the #Forcillo verdict. The reason why it’s an ‘attempted’ charge is because the jury thought he was justified 1/3
— Eric Drozd (@EricDrozd) January 25, 2016
— ang (@angnaccarato) January 25, 2016
Anyone you says #Forcillo verdict will make other officers hesitant are re-inforcing a culture that says use of excessive force is okay +
— ImDG (@IamDeborahG) January 25, 2016
— Andrew Autio (@AndrewAutio) January 25, 2016
The ‘attempted murder’ must be for the one shot that missed. #Forcillo
— Stephen Lautens (@stephenlautens) January 25, 2016
— Melissa Morgan (@_MelissaMorgan_) January 25, 2016
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.”
Today, my thoughts are with the family of Sammy Yatim. We must do more. pic.twitter.com/yvbGLhdusB
— John Tory (@JohnTory) January 25, 2016
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