Sun. Mar 3rd, 2024

The use of force against citizens in distress on public roads is at the center of the coroner's inquest in Toronto.

Death of Sammy Yatim: highlights of the investigation of the coroner

Open in full screen mode

Image from a surveillance video of the tram in which Sammy Yatim was before he was killed by agent Forcillo (at the foot of the stairs) on July 27, 2013. (Archive photo)

  • Jean-Philippe Nadeau (View profile)Jean -Philippe Nadeau

Voice synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to generate spoken text from written text.

Parties involved in the coroner's inquest into the death of Sammy Yatim, the teenager fatally shot by police on a Toronto streetcar in 2013, are presenting their final arguments to the jury on Tuesday. The hearings provided a better understanding of the circumstances of his death. A look back at ten days of emotionally charged testimonies.

The autopsy determined in 2013 that Sammy Yatim, then 18 years old , was fatally shot by several bullets during a confrontation with former agent James Forcillo.

The ex-police officer has since been sentenced to six years in prison for attempted murder following his criminal trial, three years after the events.

Open in full screen mode

Sammy Yatim had shown his penis to female passengers before waving his penknife under their chin, creating panic on board the tram that the driver had evacuated before the police arrived.

For the parents of the young victim, these hearings were certainly not easy to follow, according to the oral testimony of her mother, Sahar Bahadi, and the written testimony of her father, Nabil Yatim. Sammy's family said they were still struggling to cope with the tragedy, more than 10 years after the incident.

James Forcillo's share of responsibility has never been in doubt in this investigation and everyone agrees that he had not followed his employer's protocol on methods for de-escalating violence, when police officers are confronted with a citizen in distress on the public highway.

LoadingHydro-Québec: “No major barrier to restarting Gentilly-2”

ELSIDE ON INFO: Hydro -Quebec: “No major barrier to restarting Gentilly-2”

The coroner presiding over the hearings, Dr. David Cameron, however, had to repeatedly remind the Yatim family's lawyers that the investigation was not into the police officer's fault, but rather into the circumstances in which he made the decision to open fire on the teenager.

Open in full screen mode

The death of Sammy Yatim sparked a wave of indignation in Toronto over the methods of metropolitan police department.

Dr. Cameron even had to adjourn the hearings one afternoon to let the parties keep in mind the scope of the investigation after a question from Ed Upenieks, Nabil Yatim's lawyer, on Mr. Forcillo's reputation.

The next day, the coroner had to read the decision of the Parole Board of Canada which had agreed to release James Forcillo before the end of his sentence.

The ex-police officer, who testified at the coroner's inquest, was very succinct in his questioning, saying that he had already said everything before the Commission.

Open in full screen mode

Police officer James Forcillo leaves court in Toronto during his criminal trial for murder and attempted murder in 2016.

James Forcillo admitted to the Commission that& #x27;he had not followed protocol, that he should have de-escalated the situation and waited for the arrival of a supervisor, the only ones authorized to use an electric taser at the #x27;epoch.

He also proposed the surprising recommendation to teach the martial art of jiu-jitsu to front-line police officers to help them defend themselves without resorting to deadly force against individuals with health problems. mental.

I learned jiujitsu after I was indicted and I can tell you that if I had learned such level of confidence, I would have used the methods of this martial art and been able to handle the situation, he said.

Open in full screen mode

Anita Szigeti, lawyer for the group Empowerment Council, defends people with mental illnesses in this coroner's inquest.

However, the coroner's investigation showed that James Forcillo often had a tendency to draw his weapon on the field and that he was the subject of an investigation on this subject in 2012, but that he was not entitled to any follow-up or feedback from the investigators.

The hearings revealed that James Forcillo was overworked and stressed at work and that his employer's culture meant that it was never a good idea to ask his superiors for leave. /p>

You don't want to raise a mental health issue with your manager, because you run the risk of being removed from the public highway and assigned to office work

A quote from James Forcillo, during his testimony during the coroner's inquest

His lawyer, Peter Brauti, was also limited in the questions he wanted to ask in this investigation, because Dr. Cameron refused, x27;last year, that he supported before the jury his thesis on the suicide of Sammy Yatim.

The defense would have liked to demonstrate that Sammy Yatim had sought to take his own life through a police officer by provoking the police to shoot him, because he was depressed, a drug addict and penniless.

Open in full screen mode

Sahar Bahadi (here, with her daughter, Sara Ann), who is represented in this coroner's inquest, had strongly objected to the hearings focusing on her son's mental health in the days leading up to his death.

The thesis of suicide by police intervention is unjustified, so that it will not be necessary to call experts on the question to the witness stand, Dr. Cameron ruled in his decision, rejecting out of hand hand the idea of ​​analyzing the state of mind of the victim six months before his death.

A verdict of suicide is therefore not appropriate in this inquest, since the jury heard no evidence on this subject. The five jurors, three women and two men, will therefore have to render a verdict of accident or homicide.

Subscribe to the newsletter HERE Ontario.

Form to subscribe to the Ontario newsletter.Subscribe

In addition to the unequivocal testimony of Mr. Forcillo, the investigation also showed that the training police officers had improved in general, but that it was not yet exhaustive.

For example, it was mentioned that a scenario similar to the one that happened on the tram on July 26, 2013 was still not taught in police academies or within the police department of Toronto.

Open in full screen mode

Mike Federico, former deputy chief of the Toronto police, was one of the architects of the use of force protocols within his department. (Archives)

Former Toronto police deputy chief Mike Federico said in particular that the 12-week training at the College The Ontario Police Department in Aylmer is too limited and should receive educational training.

It is not enough to teach the basics of the law and how to apply the Criminal Code in the field in police academies, he explained, regretting the absence of a social component in police training.

Mr. Federico, who is retired after 45 years in the profession, even suggested to the jury to recommend to the province the idea of ​​creating a center of excellence modeled on the university model with three years of educational training.

  • Jean-Philippe Nadeau (View profile )Jean-Philippe NadeauFollow

By admin

Related Post