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PostPosted: Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:25 pm 
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It looks like Canada's version of the Trayvon Martin case may have a happier outcome, if there can be such a thing in a case like this:

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/blogs/dailybre ... 10079.html

:(

The officer made no attempt to negotiate with the teen, even though the bus was empty, and no one was in immediate danger (Sammy had a knife in his hand, not a gun.) Several bystanders filmed the shooting, eliminating the possibility of a police cover-up.

Sammy and his family are from Syria, so it is possible his ethnic origins played a role in the shooting. :(

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:09 pm 
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Today's news: Toronto police union president Mike McCormack says he's shocked that the charge is second-degree murder, rather than manslaughter. A murder charge reflects 'intent to kill'.

Well excuse me, but Fortino fired at Yatim NINE TIMES! :x What did he expect the outcome was going to be??

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:47 pm 
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That's shocking, Sunny. :(

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:58 pm 
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I don't know the details of this incident, really, but a knife is quite dangerous to an officer, so the officer was in immediate danger. It is considered a deadly weapon and deadly force can be used.

However, if there really was no one on the bus, then it seems like the officer could've backed off and tried a different tactic. Again, though, I don't know what all was going down. If there were 23 officers there, then it sounds bigger than just a rogue cop deciding to shoot an innocent person. What was happening prior to this incident? Why were 23 officers already there? What had Yatim already done? Do you have a link to a more detailed story of the background of the case?

It's really easy to be an armchair quarterback in these cases.

Manslaughter might actually be a more appropriate charge.

Hopefully the justice system will do its job, whatever that turns out to be in this case.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:06 pm 
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More info here, Lali, including one of several videos of the shooting:

http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2013/ ... death.html

Sammy had already allowed the passengers to get off the car, and was standing on the steps. As you will see, he was not in close proximity to the officers.

I am usually quick to give officers the benefit of the doubt, but this case so easily could have been resolved with negotiation! If the young man had truly intended to harm people, he could easily have done it while on the crowded bus, or at least taken a hostage! :(

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 7:03 pm 
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It is not a certain thing that this could have been resolved by negotiation. Negotiations don't always have happy endings. It seems like that should've been the first course of action; however, that may not have been possible for some reason. If that would've been a choice, then the officers exercised poor judgment which led to a possibly unnecessary death. (It may have still ended in Yatim's death or even the death of the officers.)

He was in close proximity to the officers. I know it doesn't seem like it, but a distance of 20* feet or less is deadly force territory. Should the officers have been that close? I don't know. Maybe not. Maybe if they had stayed further back and tried to talk to this man who must have been out of control for some reason it would've ended differently. (Mentally ill? Suicidal? Distraught? None of those things make him any less dangerous; in fact, it's just the opposite.)

Was it poor judgment by the officers to get so close? Perhaps. (Or perhaps they had a valid reason, and we aren't getting to see it here.) Is this second-degree murder? I'm not sure about that.

I'm all for the legal system to do its job. I'm not a fan of trial by YouTube (as the police chief? says) or by the media. There are too many factors that we can't see and don't know because we weren't directly involved in the incident.

So I'll reserve my judgment till later and just say that I hope justice is done, and it is very, very sad that this young man's life was ended.

*That is from memory, and Freddy isn't here to ask. Maybe it's 50 feet? I don't think it's less than 20, though.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:49 pm 
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And now I've found out the blade of the knife was only 3" long! Okay, yes, could probably still do some serious damage, but not the sort of blade you'd choose if you really wanted to harm someone. And most police officers these days wear bulletproof vests.

I am starting to wonder if this was maybe a case of 'suicide by cop'. Sammy was calling the officers names, and taunting them, as though he was begging them to attack him. :(

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:21 pm 
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Bulletproof vests don't stop sharp objects like knives. Cops can buy (sometimes provided, often not) a special strike plate to put in the vest to stop knives, but a knife will go right through Kevlar. Not to mention that key things are still exposed even with a vest on--carotid arteries, eyes, femoral arteries, arms, etc. Length of the blade is pretty much irrelevant. And 21 feet is the range in which anyone around a person with a knife is in danger of losing his/her life so use of deadly force is justified.

It could very well have been suicide by cop. :(

The key thing for me is the question, "Was there an opportunity or the possibility of negotiating with him?" Maybe that's what they were trying to do and the young man said he was going to kill them and made a sudden move towards them. ?? In that case, they are trained to shoot until the attacker stops moving. (So 9 shots would not be excessive, though it sounds like it to you or me. People rarely just drop at the first shot like in the movies or on TV.)

Or the officers should have backed off and started trying to negotiate with him.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 2:13 pm 
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Check out this video here: http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2013/ ... death.html

It clearly shows Sammy (white pants) standing on the top step of the streetcar. He falls down with the first shot, and his upper body is then hidden by the seats. If he made a move towards the officer, I can't see it.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:10 pm 
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I guess I find this really hard to understand. Our police are not armed and yet we never have the issues you guys have.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:20 pm 
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Another damning bit of evidence:

Several Metro Police bicycle officers are visible in the video. These officers are trained to use their bikes to block violent offenders from attacking. Why weren't they told to block the doors to prevent Yatim from escaping?

And why taser someone who's been shot nine times?? :x

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:37 pm 
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Alatar wrote:
Our police are not armed and yet we never have the issues you guys have.


:scratch: You mean people without guns don't have the issue of having decide when and how to use guns? :scratch:

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:58 pm 
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We have armed response units who can be called on in an emergency, but for the most part, regular Guards are not armed. When I refer to the "issues" you guys have, I'm talking about the high incidence of violent crime and violent response.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:09 pm 
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Lali, as for the vests, Roger and I used Kevlar ballistic nets for our archery. They look really flimsy, but they were quite capable of stopping even the arrows from Roger's 80 lb. bow. I'm not convinced Kevlar would provide at least some protection against a knife with a 3' blade. For one thing, by the time the knife penetrated the vest, there would only be about an inch of blade to penetrate the skin, which is not enough to reach vital organs, unless (as you said) they targeted the arteries and veins in the neck.

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When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
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Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring becomes The Rose.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:49 pm 
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Sunsilver wrote:
Lali, as for the vests, Roger and I used Kevlar ballistic nets for our archery. They look really flimsy, but they were quite capable of stopping even the arrows from Roger's 80 lb. bow. I'm not convinced Kevlar would provide at least some protection against a knife with a 3' blade. For one thing, by the time the knife penetrated the vest, there would only be about an inch of blade to penetrate the skin, which is not enough to reach vital organs, unless (as you said) they targeted the arteries and veins in the neck.


This doesn't strike me as a fair rationale for arguing against police using guns to combat people wielding knives. So, because they might not get very hurt, they should not protect themselves with the weapons they have?

I think it is way too easy to look at situations like these sitting in a comfortable chair in a safe place. Of course, things could have occurred differently for any number of reasons, but how should we expect the police to always respond "correctly", every time? I imagine that this cop reacted to what he perceived as a threatening person with a knife in close proximity. They couldn't assume that, because he had let his hostages go, that he wasn't going to behave violently.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:45 pm 
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Exactly, elsha.

It really is easy to look at it objectively after the fact and say, "Oh, why didn't they do this?" or "Why did they do that?" or "They definitely should have done that!" In the heat of the moment, things are very, very different.

Sunny, I am telling you the Kevlar vests are not designed to withstand sharp objects. I say that as a cop's wife who knows this information firsthand. Like I said, strike plates can be bought and inserted into the vest for this protection (over vital organs), but the vests, in and of themselves, do not withstand sharp objects. There may possibly be newer vests out there that provide more protection, but I am unaware of them. (Nor do I have the time to do an exhaustive search for information. The quick bit of research I did confirms what I'm saying.)

Perhaps they tased him after he was shot because he was still combative and dangerous. If he was high on drugs, that's a very real possibility.

Like I keep saying, I hope justice prevails, but I refuse to condemn this cop till all of the facts are out. (Of course, I won't even have all of those facts because I won't be on the jury.)

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:54 pm 
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Followup on this case:

TORONTO - A Toronto police officer charged in the shooting death of a young man on a streetcar is due to face a police disciplinary committee today.

Const. James Forcillo (for-SIL'-oh) is expected to appear on a charge under the Police Services Act stemming from the criminal charge he faces in Sammy Yatim’s death.

Forcillo, 30, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 18-year-old Yatim.

Yatim was shot multiple times and Tasered on an empty streetcar in July.

The incident was captured on surveillance and cellphone video on which nine shots can be heard following shouts for Yatim to drop a knife.

Toronto's police chief has appointed retired Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci to conduct a sweeping review of use-of-force policies.



As well they should! I still maintain this young man's death was totally unnecessary. Hey, I just saw Captain Phillips in the theatre, and the Navy EASILY could have taken out the men holding Phillips. Yet they held off, and continued to negotiate for many hours. :(

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:50 pm 
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Update: Sammy Yatim's family files lawsuit against Toronto police

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:35 pm 
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Two and a half years later, Cnst. James Forcillo has been found guilty of attempted murder.

This verdict is puzzling to me - he was originally charged with 2nd-degree murder. How can it be attempted murder when the man is actually dead? And after reading this explanation I'm still puzzled:

Quote:
It all comes down to the fact that Forcillo fired two separate rounds of shots, says Toronto-based criminal defence lawyer Joseph Neuberger.

Medical evidence shows that Yatim was critically injured by the first round of shots and would have died whether or not Forcillo continued to shoot him.

"What the jury must have found was that during the first volley of shots Forcillo was acting reasonably, in fear for his safety or the safety of others, and thus was not guilty of second-degree murder or manslaughter," Neuberger says.

During the second round of shots, however, "Forcillo knew that Yatim was on the ground and incapacitated, and therefore the second volley of shots was meant to kill Yatim."

That second round of shots did not kill Yatim, because he was already fatally wounded. Therefore, although Forcillo may have had murderous intent, he was not charged with murder, Neuberger said.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:37 pm 
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That makes little or no sense to me.

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