The sentencing hearing of a Toronto police officer convicted of attempted murder in the death of a teenager in an empty streetcar continues Thursday.
Crown prosecuters are seeking a prison term of eight to ten years for Constable James Forcillo, while the officer’s lawyer is asking for a sentence of house arrest.
Forcillo’s lawyer, Peter Brauti, is arguing that the injuries 18 year old Sammy Yatim suffered from the second round of bullets should not be a significant aggravating factor in determining the officer’s sentence. Brauti adds that Yatim was already dying from wounds from the first set of bullets legally fired by Forcillo.
Justice Edward Then, who will decide Forcillo’s sentence, replied that Yatim still suffered “substantial harm” from the second round of six bullets fired by Forcillo.
In July 2013, Forcillo fired two sets of bullets at Yatim, who had consumed ecstasy and was holding a small knife on an empty street car, causing him to die.
Forcillo was acquitted of second-degree murder in Yatim’s death but was later found guilty of attempted murder for continuing to fire at the the dying teen who had fallen to the floor.
The incident was captured on a cellphone video that went viral and caused public outrage, prompting Toronto police to launch a review of officers’ use of force and their response to emotionally disturbed people.