Thursday, November 26, 2015

Forcillo's Fairy Tale

It's hard to imagine what the jury is going to make of this James Forcillo's explanation of why he emptied his service pistol, nine rounds in all, into Sammy Yatim while the young man was standing in the aisle of a Toronto streetcar. According to Forcillo:

"The first sets of shots were fired because I believed Mr. Yatim was armed with a knife and was in the process of coming off the streetcar at me," Forcillo told Ontario Superior Court yesterday.

"The second shots were fired because I believed Mr. Yatim was in the process of getting off the streetcar to continue his attack."

Forcillo's sworn evidence is plausible except for three or four minor problems. These are the videos from the streetcar onboard cameras and the cellphone recordings made by bystanders who witnessed the execution.

The videos show that Yatim never even set foot in the streetcar stairwell. He remained by the driver's station in the aisle. They also show that Forcillo's first shot put Yatim down. The kid never got up again as the Toronto cop fired the remaining eight rounds into the young man. Sure, his legs seemed to flinch with each subsequent bullet, but bullets do that to bodies.

Forcillo "believed Mr. Yatim was in the process of getting off the streetcar to continue his attack." What attack? There was no attack either before or after Yatim was cut down. There was nothing that could be continued. 

The onboard streetcar security camera shows Yatim going down with the first shot and it's obvious from the image of Yatim's running shoe at the bottom of the screen that he doesn't get up even as Forcillo keeps firing. Finally an entire pack of Toronto's finest storm the bus, the first cop in pausing to taser the mortally wounded young man twice before another cop rolls Yatim's body over like a sack of potatoes thereby completely messing up the crime scene.

I'm sorry, Toronto, but if that's what you've got for cops you've got a problem, a cop problem. How many more Forcillos are on the police roster? I'll bet there are plenty.


Dana said...

I would be gobsmacked if this guy is convicted. I think he's just going to be back on the street in a few months with an even bigger ammunition supply. Then when he does it again the refrain will be, "Who could have known."

The Mound of Sound said...

If the jury acquits Forcillo then we have opened the door to a genuine police state.

Anonymous said...

Anyong said: And we Canadians have the gaul to feel superior to the Americans.

Dana said...

I think that door has been open for quite a while now actually. Since the 2010 G8 in Toronto. If not the '97 APEC in Vancouver.

The continued use by the Queen's cowboys of the Mr. Big tactic (which is also no known as the Canadian technique) is a clue too. Illegal in the US and UK (our common law partners) it is still accepted by the courts here, giving the state police free rein to lasso pretty well anyone they think is naive enough to buy into their scheme.

Only a couple of very short steps to completely manufacturing a case and having the courts accept that too.

The Mound of Sound said...

Kind of makes you grateful to be embarking on the senior years, eh Dana?

Ben Burd said...

Don't forget that there was a SIX second delay between the first three rounds and the rest of them.

Officer Forcillo was only on scene for one minute before he decided to pull the trigger, a very hasty decision!

Lorne said...

The only thing I keep thinking of, Mound, is that there would be no case, no trial, were it not for the extant video. The usual police excuse would have shut down all inquiries: "He was coming at me, and I feared for my life."

The fact that Forcillo is still trying to use a variant of that as his defense despite the damning video evidence bespeaks the contempt the Toronto Police seem to have for the public and the truth.

The Mound of Sound said...

@ Ben. Forcillo's counsel is acutely aware of the two salvo issue which is why he had the accused address it in his "second shots" remark. It's that aspect of Forcillo's testimony that I think undermines his weak excuse for the first salvo. He says he resumed firing because he "believed Mr. Yatim was in the process of getting off the streetcar to continue his attack." That's preposterous. Yatim never got up after the first shot. He was incapable after that of getting off the streetcar at all much less 'continuing his attack.' Juries do strange things but I can't see a panel of reasonably intelligent people falling for Forcillo's patent nonsense.

The Mound of Sound said...

Lorne, I completely agree but will this spark some widespread demand for a change in Toronto's police culture?

Dana said...

Forcillo might as well say, "I wanted to find out what it would feel like cause I knew the Toronto Police would stand behind me."

Northern PoV said...

"Toronto's police culture"

as fostered by those two great men: Fantino and Blair.

THE VERY BEST recent cabinet choice was leaving the second one cooling his heels on the back bench.

I had to swallow hard to vote Lib after C51 & then Blair as a star candidate.
..... but it of course, ain't just Toronto.........
Why does the VPD roll out their military grade hardware to show off at the local (and insignificant) Santa Claus parade in Vancouver?

(I have a pic but don't think I can ost it here.)