Global News camera operator allegedly pulled to the ground by police after Forcillo verdict
TORONTO — While cameras and microphones surrounded James Forcillo Monday, a Global News camera operator fell to the ground after seemingly being pulled from behind by a police officer.
“I was five to six feet away from the action at that point,” David De La Harpe said. “I felt a hand on the back of my jacket pull me down to the ground pretty hard and my jacket hood was ripped off. My glasses came off as well as my toque.”
Forcillo was walking from the court soon after he was found guilty of attempted murder in the 2013 shooting death of Sammy Yatim.
A large media contingent and members of the general public were following him towards a vehicle that was waiting for him on the street outside.
Just as Forcillo reached the vehicle, police officers on hand for crowd control attempted to make room for him to get through and De La Harpe hit the sidewalk.
Pictures of what looks to be an officer helping the camera operator up were immediately posted on social media by other reporters on hand.
“We saw some feedback from the media yesterday on social media and in the media reports last night,” Toronto Police spokesperson Meaghan Gray said.
“Today was the first time we got a call from somebody about a particular individual and a particular incident.”
Toronto Police have told Global News that a meeting can be set up between the involved parties and an inspector with the professional standards unit.
“Anytime anyone even a member of your staff or a member of the public they’ve been mistreated by a police officer that they should file a complaint with the Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD),” Gray said.
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