Found not guilty of murder, Forcillo's lawyer vows to appeal the verdict, and that this is only "phase one."
Police officer James Forcillo was found guilty of attempted murder in the shooting death of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim.
Attempted murder with a firearm carries a minimum sentence of four years in jail. Forcillo was found not guilty of murder.
Forcillo shot Yatim nine times on July 26, 2013 as the teen brandished a knife on the Dundas streetcar. The police officer shot two volleys of bullets separated by five and a half seconds. The first volley of shots killed him, and then the officer fired six more times as Yatim lay on the floor. Yatim was then tased by another officer.
It is the second volley of shots that is at issue in the attempted murder charge for which Forcillo was found guilty–a complicated legal argument explained in this Now Magazine article.
Forcillo’s lawyer Peter Brauti indicated plans to appeal the verdict, and called it “Trial by YouTube,” a reference to the public attention the case had.
Mike McCormack, the head of the union that represents Toronto police officers, added that the outcome “sends a chilling message to our officers.”