James Forcillo faces additional charge in death of Sammy Yatim

Watch above: The officer charged with killing Sammy Yatim has now been charged with attempted murder as well. Mark Carcasole reports. 

TORONTO – The Toronto police officer who shot and killed a teenager on a streetcar last summer faces an additional charge of attempted murder.

Constable James Forcillo was given the charge at Old City Hall court house Wednesday morning.

The officer currently faces a second degree murder charge in the death of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim.

The Crown filed the new indictment and Forcillo was charged with attempted murder “by shooting (Yatim) with a firearm and thereby wounding him.”

A report in the National Post quoted Forcillo’s lawyer Peter Brauti saying the crown is looking for a “fallback position” in the case.

Mike McCormack, the president of the Toronto Police Association, echoed Brauti and suggested the crown was “throwing stuff at the wall [to] see what sticks.”
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“We’re surprised at this additional charge,” he said. “To us it sort of indicated that maybe the crown is losing confidence in their case.”

“Why else would they be adding this charge right now?”

READ MORE: Should we be hiring more compassionate cops?

Forcillo’s preliminary inquiry concluded last month though all of the evidence heard by Judge Richard LeDressay is under a publication ban.

The accused returns to the courtroom Sep. 22 for a judicial pre-trial. His trial isn’t expected to start until fall 2015.

Yatim was shot and killed on an empty streetcar on July 27, 2013 – an incident captured on surveillance and cellphone video, on which nine shots can be heard following shouted commands to drop a knife.

Forcillo, who is free on $510,000 bail, was suspended with pay, but quietly returned to active duty at Toronto Crimestoppers in an administrative role in February.

Watch cellphone video of the shooting below. WARNING: Viewer discretion is advised.

With a file from The Canadian Press


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