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Toronto Police Officer Charged in Shooting Death of Sammy Yatim Ordered to Stand Trial

Constable James Forcillo faces a charge of second-degree murder.

Constable James Forcillo, the Toronto police officer charged in the shooting death of Sammy Yatim, has been ordered to stand trial on a charge of second-degree murder.

After a two-day preliminary hearing that ended today, it was determined that there is enough evidence for a trial. Forcillo is set to appear in court on July 30 to arrange a trial date, likely for 2015.

The shooting occurred on July 27, 2013, when an officer fired nine shots at 18-year-old Yatim, who was alone on a TTC streetcar and armed with a small knife. Yatim was struck eight times before another officer Tasered him as he lay on the floor of the streetcar.

Passerby Martin Baron captured footage of the incident on his smartphone. The short video quickly went viral, and was broadcast by news outlets around the world—which may explain the unusual speed with which the Special Investigations Unit conducted their investigation of the shooting.

Forcillo is the first Toronto police officer to be charged with murder since the SIU was founded in 1990. He was suspended with pay two days after the shooting, but that suspension was lifted in February, when Forcillo assumed an administrative role with Crime Stoppers.

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