Officer accused in fatal streetcar shooting of Sammy Yatim in court
Chris Kitching, CP24.com
Published Tuesday, April 22, 2014 7:26AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 22, 2014 1:37PM EDT
A preliminary hearing began Tuesday for a Toronto police officer who is charged in the shooting death of a young man aboard a streetcar last summer.
The hearing will determine whether there is enough evidence to proceed with a second-degree murder trial against Const. James Forcillo.
Forcillo was charged a few weeks after 18-year-old Sammy Yatim was shot multiple times and Tasered by police while the teen was armed with a knife aboard a TTC streetcar at Dundas Street West and Bellwoods Avenue in July 2013.
Cellphone and surveillance cameras filmed the incident from different angles.
In a cellphone video recorded by a witness, police are heard repeatedly shouting at Yatim, who is alone on the streetcar, to “drop the knife” and a male voice is heard taunting the officers.
Moments later, nine gunshots are fired as officers stand on the street near the open front door – three initially, and then six more about five seconds later.
In the video, it appeared the six additional shots were fired after Yatim had already fallen to the streetcar's floor.
The sound of a Taser is also heard after the gunshots.
The second-degree murder charge was laid against Forcillo after an investigation by Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit.
The constable was suspended with pay and is currently free on bail. He is also facing a disciplinary charge of discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act.
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