Constable James Forcillo is currently on trial for a charge of second-degree murder and attempted murder in the death of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim on a Dundas St. West streetcar on July 27 2013. He has pleaded not guilty.
TTC surveillance video from the incident was shown in court Wednesday and released to the public by various media outlets including the Toronto Star, National Post, and Global News.
Video 1 shows Yatim at the front of the streetcar, interacting with the TTC driver in a calm manner after initially wielding his knife and genitals. It then ends with the police descending on the vehicle, and Forcillo firing multiple shots at Yatim, with a follow-up Tasering.
Video 2 reveals the back of the streetcar from the moment Yatim enters, then cuts to the point where a group of women sit down next to him in the back. He then brandishes his groin and a knife, threatens them, and sends everybody fleeing from the streetcar.
Do these two videos change your opinion of Sammy Yatim, police response, and Constable Forcillo’s actions that night? Do you better understand why Forcillo reacted the way he did?
It was interesting to note that the TTC driver was handling the situation calmly for a long while. Should the police have taken the same approach instead of sending in a sea of lit-up cop cars and dozens of officers, guns drawn?
Some are also dismayed by how the passengers reacted when Yatim started waving around his knife and penis. They can be seen in the 2nd video shoving each other aside in order to exit the streetcar. One passenger can be seen nearly falling to the floor as it became “every man for himself”.