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Toronto Police Shooting: Court Found Guilty of Attempted Justice

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posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 06:37 AM
I'm not usually at a loss for words, but Constable James Forcillo's conviction for the attempted murder of a man he killed left me with a vacant dialogue bubble floating above my head this morning, initially, at least.

Forcillo was found not guilty Monday of second-degree murder in the death of Yatim, shot eight times by the officer while alone on the Dundas St. W. streetcar. Forcillo was also found not guilty of manslaughter.

. . .

In a precedent-setting case, the jury of seven women and four men found the officer guilty of attempted murder — a verdict only made possible by the Crown’s decision to split the total of nine shots by Forcillo into two separate charges.

. . .

It became clear at trial that the new charge was added due to forensic evidence revealing the fatal bullets had struck Yatim during the first volley of shots. Those first three bullets — two of them to the chest — “fatally damaged” Yatim’s heart and severed his spine, according to the Crown. A third one fractured his right arm.

The other bullets — five of the six struck Yatim — hit his abdomen and groin when he was already on the floor of the streetcar. None of those shots caused fatal wounds, though Yatim was minutes away from dying.

The incident, which led to the death of a "disturbed" young man named Sammy Yatim, was captured by a surveillance video located on the bus where Yatim was shot.

The Crown Prosecutor's office seem to have been hedging their bets when they decided to lay charges of murder and attempted murder, on the recommendation of the Ontario Special Investigations Unit, a civilian oversight group that evaluates police use of force.

Some people are lauding the decision by the Crown to proceed in this way. I'm not convinced, myself.

I doubt if the average "gangsta" from Jane and Finch would be given the benefit of such a "nice" (in the 18th century sense) distinction being made of just which of his bullets were intended to do what to one of his victims.

Will Forcillo's appeal be made on the basis that one cannot possibly be guilty of the attempted murder of someone whom one has already killed?

Will the subsequent application of a taser to the dead body of the unfortunate Yatim (not shown in the video clip) be cited to prove that no shots were fired by the police? It gets absurd.

From the video it is clear, to me at least, that Forcillo was very skittish, that he shot Yatim when the young man took steps "forward", that he shot for "center of mass" as the police are taught to do (a killing shot).

Was Forcillo in fear of his life? The video makes it clear that he was very nervous, in my opinion, nervous to the point of mental breakdown. Yes he was fearful. Was the fear justified? That is very questionable in my opinion, based on what I have seen in the video.

I think that the video shows, indicated by all the shots and actions that followed the first three, that Forcillo is in over his head as a police officer.

I don't like the way the courts have handled this case, but what I like even less is what we see, over and over again, of the Metropolitan Police Department in action.
edit on 26-1-2016 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 07:15 AM
The guy had a knife, so to me the first shot was justifiable enough, if it was by itself.
The shots after he was on the ground should be punishable by life in prison.
I can't understand how anyone can even kick someone that is on the ground, let alone shoot them that many times.
deplorable. The cop should have gotten life, for sure.

posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 07:28 AM
a reply to: o0oTOPCATo0o

I don't know what Forcillo's background is, as far as training goes. Did he go right into the police academy off the street?

My personal opinion is that since many of the troubling incidents that occur with police seem to demonstrate a lack of "people skills" and a tendency to slip into a "default" position "on the pistol range", police should be required to serve an apprenticeship as unarmed security guards for at least two years before being taken into the police academy for training as full fledged, fully armed policemen.

Experienced security guards learn to think on their feet. The best ones become very careful and shrewd. Unlike the police, a security guard's only backup is his brain. Police officers should be required to go through a period of apprenticeship, training that most important of law enforcement muscles.

posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 07:39 AM
There was no clear reason for him to fire at all, much less pump the guy full of lead. He walked away from the doorway, then back. How is that cause for the officer to fire? He made no move to go down the steps or toward the officers, only returned to his original position.
To make matter worse, the other cop steps up AND TASERS HIM!. All of the officers appeared to be terrified and had no idea what to do. Why not use the Taser first? They clearly had that as an option, so why go straight to lethal force?

posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 07:47 AM
Many years ago I learned a valuable lesson, as a security guard, from someone that, up to that moment, I had had no respect for.

At one of the venues I worked, a man was acting in a very erratic and frightening manner. I was frightened by him and didn't know how to handle the situation.

A smarter man than I was, a more compassionate man, simply walked up to the guy and said, "Are you OK?"

Instantly, the threatening person calmed down and started talking to someone who was concerned enough to inquire about his welfare. The situation was defused and the threat was removed from the venue.

Simply arriving on the scene and starting to shout orders at someone is not the way these situations should be handled.

posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 07:54 AM
a reply to: ipsedixit
Don't forget the puzzle of the jury's decision.
If they think he is guilty of attempted murder, how can they NOT find him guilty of murder? If the prosecution's approach lacked logic, the jury were in collusion with it.

posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 08:04 AM
a reply to: DISRAELI

The decision is right out of the theater of the absurd.

It would be less absurd if Forcillio had been charged with committing an "indignity" to a dead body. Forcillo was very nervous, from the video, and went "by the book" when Yatim advanced toward the door, carrying the knife, after being ordered to drop the knife.

Charging Forcillo with murder, after three shots, would, in my opinion, necessitate charging the people who trained Forcillo, at the police academy, as accessories to murder.

That's a can of worms that "the system" wanted to avoid, so they gave the jury an avenue of escape, the lesser charge for all the shots after the first three.

The "not guilty" after the first three shots was a reflection of the fact that up to that point Forcillo had been following standard police procedure. A guilty verdict, of murder, after the first three shots would beg a lot of awkward questions about police procedures and perhaps requests for additional charges against those responsible for the procedures being questioned.

This game of Chinese Checkers with the charges is just another example of the administration of justice in Ontario navigating around a situation that brings the whole edifice into question. We've been here before.

Not a very satisfactory situation.
edit on 26-1-2016 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 09:07 AM
a reply to: ipsedixit

How many times does this office have to shoot the guy and than taser him while he's lying there dying? These police officers should be trained in calming suspects before they start using them as target practice.

posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 09:15 AM
a reply to: WeRpeons

I agree.

I think that by maneuvering the way they have, the Attorney General's office have produced a band-aid solution in the courts that will, hopefully, lead to a larger examination of police procedures, and changes.

It's a bit of legal jiggery-pokery that is meant to be serviceable but ugly, until the legal framework can be changed. Attorney General Red Green could have done as well with duct tape. It's on that level.
edit on 26-1-2016 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 10:54 AM

originally posted by: o0oTOPCATo0o
The guy had a knife, so to me the first shot was justifiable enough, if it was by itself.
The shots after he was on the ground should be punishable by life in prison.
I can't understand how anyone can even kick someone that is on the ground, let alone shoot them that many times.
deplorable. The cop should have gotten life, for sure.

It's hard to know what to say any more, a wasted life, just like that.
Yet and all I've seen even worse police shootings to death than that, for far less a 'reason'.

posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 01:43 PM
a reply to: ipsedixit
I can get on board with that.
Along with drug testing and periodical psychiatric testing.
Also, yearly testing and evaluation in hostile situations.

posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 01:48 PM
a reply to: smurfy
Me as well. Pretty scary stuff.

I must say though, this has to be the worst I have ever seen in terms of 'overkill'
It makes me wonder what in the hell was going through his mind while pulling the trigger over and over again.
There is no way this guy should ever have a gun, let alone be in a position everyday to be able to use it.
Dude is either completely crazy or a frantic idiot.

posted on Jan, 26 2016 @ 02:59 PM
Hummmm, the guy was ten feet away from the cop armed with a 6 in knife....standing on a bus with the cop outside on the street.....was the cop in immediate danger?
Obviously uncalled for trigger action at that instant.....
Why are police officers NOT trained to deal with these situations more intensely.....?
The quality of the individual policeman is diminished through this shoot for center mass at the first instant attitude........
We train them to execute on demand and then complain?

posted on Jul, 28 2016 @ 11:05 AM
Forcillo got 6 year's..good, at least something.

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