Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Toronto Cop James Forcillo ID'd as cop in Sammy Yatim shooting

TORONTO - The governing body that oversees the city’s cops vows to do all it can to find out why an officer, identified Tuesday as Const. James Forcillo, shot and killed Sammy Yatim on a streetcar over the weekend.

The 14 Division officer has yet to speak publicly, but his lawyer said he’s “devastated.”

“We are waiting for the investigation to proceed,” Peter Brauti told the Toronto Sun Tuesday. “It’s important that people don’t rush to judgment because not all of the evidence is yet available.”

Police Chief Bill Blair suspended Forcillo, a member of the service for six years, with pay on Monday.

The Toronto Police Services Board said Tuesday members are anxiously awaiting the results of simultaneous investigations — by Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit and Blair — into the shooting that killed 18-year-old Yatim and sparked widespread public outrage after witness video was posted to YouTube.

“The board assures the community that it is fully committed and determined to do everything in its power to pursue answers to the questions which are troubling us all and to ensure that appropriate action is taken as called for by the investigations,” TPSB chair Alok Mukherjee said in a statement.

After offering “sincere sympathy” to Yatim’s family, he went on to say the board “recognizes the serious concerns” of “members of the community at large” in the wake of the teen’s death.

“Like Mr. Yatim’s family and other Torontonians, the (TPSB) seeks to understand the tragic events that transpired (early Saturday) in order that appropriate action can follow,” Mukherjee said.

He said the board believes the two investigations are of the “utmost importance” and members support the chief ’s “unequivocal commitment to do his part to obtain the answers that we are all seeking.”

The SIU, which investigates any serious injury or death involving cops, is probing Forcillo’s actions and that of 22 witness officers.

Blair, who has pledged to “co-operate fully” with the SIU, is required under the Police Services Act to review the policies, procedures and training related to the fatal shooting as well as the conduct of all involved coppers.

The chief must report his findings to the TPSB within 30 days of the completion of the SIU’s probe.

The TPSB has made it clear to Blair that his review should be “comprehensive” and include “sufficient detail to address the very serious questions” the board has regarding Yatim’s death, Mukherjee said.
By Chris Doucette ,Toronto Sun
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