August 20, 2013
A Toronto police officer is facing a charge of second-degree murder, following the recent fatal shooting of a teenager on a streetcar, Canadian officials say.
In a statement on Monday, the province of Ontario’s Special Investigation Unit announced that Constable James Forcillo would be charged for killing Sammy Yatim during an incident on July 27.
Forcillo, who has been suspended from duty since the shooting, is to surrender to authorities on Tuesday, when he is due to appear in court.
Yatim’s family issued a statement afterwards saying they were “relieved” to learn that Forcillo would be charged however they also wanted the SIU to look into the actions of other involved officers.
“We have been waiting patiently and co-operating with the police investigation and want to hold accountable all those responsible for Sammy’s death,” read the statement from Yatim’s family.
Yatim died after police shot him nine times as well as used a taser on him while he was alone on a streetcar holding a knife.
Intense criticism erupted after a video was posted online showing the officers shooting Yatim.
The police shooting was not the first time Toronto officers have been criticized for using excessive force. In 2012, officers shot dead a mentally-ill man, who was wearing a hospital gown and holding two pairs of scissors in the middle of the street.