Well, the officer responsible for the death of Sammy Yatim, has been charged with second-degree murder. James Forcillo has been granted bail and also suspended with pay. I call that one small step towards justice simply because it is one thing to charge a police officer and quite another to convict. A charge of second-degree murder implies an intent to kill while not having preplanned the death which is first-degree murder.
The burden of proof of intent is on the crown. To me, it’s pretty hard for there not to be intent when a victim suffers multiple bullet wounds, potentially six of them after he went down. The officer is likely going to claim he believed himself or others to be in imminent peril but he may have a difficult time convincing the court of that considering the amount of video evidence available. I guess we’ll have to wait for the trial which I certainly hope proceeds with some promptness.
Mike McCormack, the head of the Toronto Police union has stated that Forcillo is definitely a casualty in this case. No, he’s not. He made his choices, as we all do, in the heat of the moment or not. As a police officer there is a duty for him to serve and protect the people and sometimes that calls for a lot calmer response than what is indicated he engaged in during those fatal moments.
I would find it disturbing if Forcillo wasn’t upset in the aftermath of the death of Sammy Yatim. He’d be a cold blooded killer if taking those shots, be it one or the nine he did take, didn’t upset him. Taking responsibility for what appears to be potentially criminal actions is another matter. Claiming he’s a casualty is not an option.