Alberta like Switzerland in quality of life; Nunavut like Latvia: study
|CTVnews 28 Jul 2016 at 03:31|
TORONTO -- A Toronto police officer convicted of attempted murder in the shooting death of a troubled teen on an empty streetcar is expected to learn his fate today.
Const. James Forcillo is set to be sentenced in the death of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim, whose death in 2013 was captured on cellphone video that went viral.
Forcillo was acquitted in January of second-degree murder, but found guilty of attempted murder for continuing to fire after the dying teen had fallen to the floor.
The offence carries a mandatory minimum sentence of four or five years, but the officer has filed a constitutional appeal.
His lawyers have argued the mandatory minimum was never intended to apply to peace officers who legitimately carry a gun at the behest of the state in order to protect society.
They are instead seeking a sentence of house arrest, while the Crown is asking for the officer to spend eight to 10 years behind bars.
Prosecutors say the mandatory minimum is meant to apply to everyone and argues that police officers shouldn t get special treatment.
They have argued that Forcillo s case appears to be "among the most egregious examples of unjustified violence by a police officer in Canada."
The public outrage over the July 2013 incident prompted the city s police chief to launch a review of officers use of force and their response to emotionally disturbed people.
Yatim s mother, Sahar Bahadi, told the court she will never forgive Forcillo for killing her child.
"They say to move on, you have to forgive," she said during her victim impact statement. "But as a mother, I will not forget and I will never forgive. Human life matters. My son, Sammy, matters."
The teen s father also said he struggled to make sense of his son s death and wondered what would have happened if another officer had been on duty that night.
Forcillo s wife, meanwhile, said her husband doesn t deserve to go to jail because he isn t a risk to society.
In a letter to Justice Edward Then, Irina Forcillo said her husband is "the one whose purpose has always been to protect."
Forcillo has been out on bail ever since being charged in the July 2013 shooting.
The officer fired two separate volleys -- three shots and then six shots -- at Yatim, who had consumed ecstasy and was wielding a small knife on an empty streetcar.
Forcillo testified that he never wanted to kill anybody when he confronted Yatim, but fired because he thought the teen was about to come at him with his switchblade.