Happy first of August! In today's news: The police officer under investigation for shooting Sammy Yatim on an empty streetcar apparently called for another officer to use a taser before opening fire on the teen, a longtime veteran of the Toronto police force says officers are trained to "shoot until the threat has stopped," and Mayor Rob Ford gets into it with the Ontario Liberals.
The Globe and Mail reports that, according to a source, the Toronto police officer under investigation for shooting Sammy Yatim on an empty streetcar called for another officer to tase the 18-year-old before opening fire. The teenager was tasered after Constable James Forcillo, who has been suspended with pay following the incident, fired nine shots at Yatim. Apparently, Forcillo wouldn’t have had a taser on him, as only sergeants and members of the Emergency Task Force are permitted to carry them.
A now-retired but longtime Toronto police officer and use-of-force training officer Mark Valois commented on the aforementioned shooting, saying officers are trained to assess a threatening situation and act accordingly—or, as he put it, “you shoot until the threat has stopped,” and aim for a person’s “centre of mass,” not extremities like knees or feet. In addition to the Special Investigations Unit and Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, Ontario ombudsman André Marin will review the incident, and has indicated that provincial guidelines around situations like this might need to be better defined.
Drama ensues between Mayor Rob Ford and the Ontario Liberals as the party prepares to close out a race for five provincial byelection seats. The mayor has been openly campaigning for the Progressive Conservatives, saying the PC candidates are the only ones who will build subways in Toronto and taking various shots at the Liberals. The Liberals have fired back, saying that Ford has done nothing to build subways, despite their own party putting up money to start construction.
This post originally said that Constable James Forcillo was suspended without pay following the shooting death of Sammy Yatim. In fact, Forcillo was suspended with pay.