James Forcillo’s lawyer is trying to convince a judge that the Toronto cop shouldn’t be handed the same penalty that a civilian convicted of attempted murder with a restricted firearm would receive.
Forcillo faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison for his part in the incident that saw a knife-wielding Sammy Yatim lose his life on a Toronto streetcar in July 2013.
Forcillo’s lawyer Lawrence Gridin is asking Justice Edward Then to rule the minimum sentence unconstitutional, because it unfairly punishes police officers who sometimes have no choice but to use restricted weapons when interacting with the public.
Gridin argues that the law exists to punish criminals on the streets, not cops who make mistakes while performing their duty.
Judge Then asked “if it’s applicable to ordinary citizens as opposed to gang members and criminals, why is it not applicable to police officers?”
“It’s not a licence to kill.”
The Toronto Sun’s Michele Mandel here writes more about the ongoing discussions in court regarding Forcillo’s sentence.