The Supreme Court will not hear the appeal of James Forcillo in Sammy Yatim's shooting


The Supreme Court of Canada will not hear the appeal of a Toronto police officer convicted of attempted murder in the death of teenager Sammy Yatim aboard a streetcar five years ago.

In a ruling issued Thursday morning, the country's main court denied Const. James Forcillo leaves to appeal both his conviction and the sentence.

In an unusual verdict, a jury acquitted Forcillo in 2016 of second-degree murder, but convicted him of attempted murder in connection with Yatim's death aboard the Dundas tram on the night of July 27, 2013. Forcillo was sentenced to six years of imprisonment year above the mandatory minimum for attempted homicide.

The assassination attempt was linked to a second volley of shots that Forcillo shot after Yatim was on the tram floor and dying.

Forcillo's lawyers hoped to argue to the higher court that the first and second rounds of shots should not have been divided into separate events. They also hoped to appeal to Forcillo's sentence.

One of Forcillo's three lawyers, Michael Lacy, went to court on Thursday but issued a brief statement on Twitter.

"Mr. Forcillo exercised his right to ask the [Supreme Court] grant him permission to appeal. The Court refused to do so this morning. We respect that decision, "Lacy tweeted.

"This terminates the legal proceedings and Mr. Forcillo will continue to comply with his sentence."

Forcillo only official to shoot gun

Forcillo was one of the first officers to respond to a phone call about a young man exposing himself on the streetcar while brandishing a knife. Only Yatim was left on the streetcar when the police arrived.

Forcillo fired three initial shots, causing Yatim to fall on the ground of the tram and then fired six more shots.

The shooting was captured on video, which circulated widely and sparked a national discussion over the use of force by police.

The Crown separated the two hails into two separate accusations: the second-degree murder charge was related to the first round of gunfire, and the charge of attempted murder was for the second.

Forcillo was condemned by the second.

In April, the Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed Forcillo's appeal both of his conviction and of his sentence.


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