Cop to apply for bail
TORONTO—The lawyers for a Toronto police officer facing a rare murder charge in the shooting death of a young man said they would try applying for his bail this afternoon.
Cst. James Forcillo showed no discernible reaction as he appeared in court after surrendering to authorities this morning.
A judicial pre-trial, which is a case conference with a judge and the lawyers, has been set for Sept. 30.
Yatim’s family is scheduled to hold a news conference tomorrow to discuss the events surrounding the young man’s death.
Lawyer Peter Brauti said he would try to make a bail application for Forcillo today, but there’s no guarantee the court will have time to hear it.
“It’s obviously a life-changing incident for him,” Brauti said.
Toronto Police Association president Mike McCormack attended Forcillo’s court appearance and said this has been a stressful time for the officer.
“He’s very upset and in shock, quite honestly,” McCormack said.
“As I said, it’s been very trying on him and his family.”
Yatim’s shooting on an empty streetcar was captured on cellphone and surveillance video.
Nine shots can be heard—seconds after shouts for Yatim to drop a knife.
Since the SIU’s inception in 1990, 10 other police officers have been charged with second-degree murder or manslaughter in Ontario.
But only one was convicted—and that was overturned on appeal.
In a statement yesterday, Yatim’s family said they are relieved by the charge but hope the SIU will look into the actions of the supervising officers and other officers who were on scene “for their lack of intervention in this tragedy.”
“Over 20 uniformed police officers were present and no one stepped forward to stop the gun shots or offer any mediation,” the family wrote.
“Moving forward, we expect complete transparency and accountability,” the added.
“We want to work now to ensure that Sammy’s blood wasn’t wasted and to prevent any other families from enduring such a tragedy.”