[quote]Shocking new enhanced video of the shooting of Sammy Yatim on a Toronto streetcar early Saturday morning is prompting angry reactions on social media. The video appears to show the 18-year-old Yatim brandishing a knife and calling a police officer a “fucking pussy.” Police repeatedly tell Yatim to “drop the knife” before opening fire. Police fire nine shots. Yatim was subsequently taken to hospital where he died from his injuries. Few other details of the shooting have be released, but a release from the Special Investigations Unit Monday confirmed a stun gun was also used on Yatim.[/quote]
At a press conference Monday, Toronto police chief Bill Blair said his force will do all it can to explain how and why Yatim was killed. (Thank you to the Huffington Post / Canada for the quote.)
TERRY GAVAN – ED
No blame game. If you remove the power of deadly force from the hands of competent officers of the law? Very few good women and men would step forward to do the work.
The issue here is competency. The police officer who fired 9 shots at a single man, Sammy Yatin, on a bus, with no imminent danger to the general public extant is clearly not competent. The fact that he fired three shots. Paused and then fired six more rounds in the general direction of the prone Sammy Yatin? Leads to an assertion that there was absolutely no triage going on amongst the officers gathered at the door of the bus.
The fact that police had no access to rubber bullets or taser deterrent bids a necessary question about training. The fact that no officer is seen to take control of the situation is even more mesmerizing. The officer in question, Constable James Forcillo had five or six years in. Is that enough years in to take the initiative and become the only actor on scene. After three shots? Why didn’t a senior officer remove the young officer from the vicinity? If I was there? I would have moved to stop the officer. As a citizen? I find the shooting unnecessary and a malignantl use of deadly force. Deadly force which is only obliged if an officer or a citizen is in imminent deadly danger.
Sammy Yatin had a knife and he was contained on a transit vehicle. If the first three shots were questionable? The last six were certainly beyond the pale of single officer action. And of course. The officer had to be charged. I am guessing that the young officer’s career is over. At least I hope he is never allowed to remain an officer of the law. Adding to that sentence an imposed interdiction to firearm ownership or use for the rest of his life.
Killing someone must have a consequence. Police officers included.What went on in Toronto that night looked more like the fourth level of a video game. If this gets excused? Who the hell is going to feel right in front of an interrogating officer again? Not me. Next time a Toronto cop stops you for a routine check? I advise. Get prone. Get on the goddam ground! prone like Jesus H Christ himself!
The subject matter is as lurid as the bleak image of a Toronto cop firing three shots… then stopping (count now: “one, two, three, four, five.”)… followed by six more shots.
The evidence is all there on video. Someone was there to shoot the shooting as it were. Let’s be clear about one thing. This is not doctored footage. No one is arguing that.
News outlets had access to that footage very shortly after the TPD officer in question shot an individual on a Toronto Transport vehicle. The facts are as stark as the video. A young man wielding a sharp object was on the bus. Everyone on the bus had exited. The man with the sharp object was alone on the bus.
There were many Toronto police officers on the scene. One of the officers. And only one. responded to the threat with nine shots aimed at the young man with the sharp object.
News outlets are still using the word alleged as they try to make sense of the senseless. I think that there was something wrong mentally with Sammy Yatin. I use the old standby for that argument. Res ipsa loquitur. The act of refusing to drop a knife knowing that you are facing a contingent of police with firearms by its very nature bespeaks a recklessness that could only be explained by a psychotic break. Or gross stupidity. If stupidity was a capital offence would Stephen Harper have a cabinet left?
What of the policeman. Who actually stepped well above the restraints we usually place upon citizens be they cop or not. When a man is down? The man is down.
The man is sent to the floor with a possible argument of the use of deadly force in the face of imminent danger. Needs Johhny Cochrane for that one.
Once that man is down? Imminent danger is removed from the situation.
Res ipsa? Well that’s fairly obvious. The man who proceeds to fire six shots at a prone protaganist? Is guilty of murder.
Now if I was that cop? I would get myself a very good lawyer. And plead to a psychotic break of my own.
Because that’s the only explanation other than an acceptance of a plea to murder two or manslaughter.
It all speaks to training. Police school. Oversight on scene. Triage. Having a sergeant on call for immediate dispatch.
And back to that all-important word. Management. Who took control of the scene?
Unfortunately it was a rogue officer named Constable James Forcillo who cut bait. Badly.
And must now deal with the consequence of nine bad decisions.