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The 18-year-old was killed in 2013 by police while brandishing a knife on a tram.

Coroner's inquest into the death of Sammy Yatim begins

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A friend of Sammy Yatim holds a photograph outside the courthouse at the trial of James Forcillo in 2016. (File photo)

  • Jean-Philippe Nadeau (View profile)Jean-Philippe Nadeau

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It was this morning that the coroner's inquest into the death of Sammy Yatim, who was shot and killed by a police officer in 2013 on a city streetcar, began in Toronto, 14 months late. The use of force by the police against people with mental health problems will be at the center of the pleadings.

The coroner's investigation, which was postponed at the last minute to the end of 2022, must focus on the circumstances surrounding the death of Sammy Yatim and the training of the police officers when' ;#x27;they interact with citizens in distress on public roads.

Sammy Yatim was shot and killed by Officer James Forcillo while wielding a knife on a Metropolis streetcar on evening of July 27, 2013.

Shocking videos of the event sparked a wave of indignation among elected officials and Torontonians.

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At the end of a high-profile trial, James Forcillo was sentenced to six years in prison in 2016 for attempted murder.

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Sammy Yatim was shot and killed by Officer Forcillo in July 2013 while brandishing a knife on a Toronto streetcar.

The police officer was acquitted of a principal charge of unpremeditated murder for the first three shots he fired at the teenager.

He was, however, found guilty of attempted murder for the last six shots against the victim who was already lying on the floor of the train .

James Forcillo, who was fired by the Toronto Police Service upon the guilty verdict, was granted parole in 2020 after four years in detention.

He has since made a new life in Northern Ontario, but he will be represented by the ;#x27;lawyer Bryan Badali during the investigation.

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Officer James Forcillo, seen here leaving Toronto court in 2016, has exhausted all his legal appeals , which now allows a coroner's inquest to be held.

Dr David Cameron, who presides the investigation, however, decided last year that the theory of suicide cannot be presented to the jury. Dr. Cameron had thus rejected Mr. Badali's request.

The lawyer for the&#x27 The former police officer maintained that Sammy Yatim had taken his own life through a police officer, because he was depressed, drug addicted and penniless after being thrown into the street by his father.

The other parties represented in this investigation strongly opposed Mr. Forcillo's defense request in November 2022, which forced the last minute cancellation of the hearings.

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Sammy Yatim's mother Sahar Bahadi is expected to attend online hearings at the coroner's court .

In his judgment, Dr. Cameron explained in March 2023, after four months of deliberations, that&# x27;there was no reason to expand the scope of the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Sammy Yatim.

The thesis of suicide by police intervention is unjustified, so that it will not be necessary to call experts on the witness stand on the question, he wrote in his decision.

The coroner nevertheless recognized that the mental state in which the victim was found was important, but only in the moments preceding his death on the tram and during his altercation with the police.

The hearings, which are entirely virtual, are expected to last 13 days and the jury is expected to hear from a total of 14 witnesses.

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The jury will subsequently have to deliver a verdict on the cause of death and recommendations to the province for avoid a similar tragedy in the future.

Only five verdicts are possible in a coroner's inquest: suicide, homicide, accident, natural death, or undetermined death.

  • Jean-Philippe Nadeau (View profile)Jean-Philippe NadeauFollow
Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116