TORONTO — Jury selection is now underway in the second degree murder trial of Const. James Forcillo, the officer accused in a fatal shooting of a Toronto teen.
Forcillo also faces a an additional charge of attempted murder from the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim on a TTC streetcar on July 27, 2013.
He pleaded not guilty to both charges Wednesday.
“We’re just looking for 12 open-minded people who are prepared to reserve judgement until they’ve heard the evidence and we’re hopeful that’s going to happen,” said Forcillo’s lawyer Peter Brauti.
Nearly four hundred people were called to court as prospective jurors, filling two courtrooms. Among the first excluded from the jury pool were a former judge and a Toronto Police Service employee. Others with connections to the witnesses were also excused.
WATCH: James Forcillo arrived at a Toronto courthouse on Wednesday as jury selection is set to begin in his second-degree murder trial. Forcillo is accused of fatally shooting 18-year-old Sammy Yatim. Forcillo’s lawyer, Peter Brauti, said his client is anxious to tell his side of the story.
Mike McCormack, Toronto Police Association president, was on hand to support Forcillo. He told reporters he hopes to see jurors who are “open-minded, who will judge the facts based on the facts and evidence and not any preconceived notions.”
Sammy Yatim’s death was captured on surveillance and cellphone video. Nine shots can be heard, following shouted commands to drop a knife.
Forcillo was suspended a few days after the incident, but has since been given a desk job with Crime Stoppers, as his case winds its way through the court system.
Jury selection is expected to continue for three days with the trial expected to last eight weeks. It gets underway next month.