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Mental health training and police use of force are at the center of the pleadings.

Officer Forcillo’s conduct was alarming as early as 2012.

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Police officer James Forcillo leaves court at Toronto after a day of hearing at his criminal trial in 2016.

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

The head of recruiting for the Toronto police admitted on Tuesday that the conduct of ex-constable James Forcillo presented serious alarming signs a year before he shot the 18-year-old young man. Sammy Yatim was killed by police in 2013 when he brandished a knife on a crowded metro tram.

On the second day of the hearings, Police Superintendent Lisa Crooker testified on the witness stand that Officer Forcillo drew his weapon five times, one before the death of Sammy Yatim. He pointed his gun at citizens he encountered on the public highway, she said.

Spdte Crooker asserts, however, that she was unaware that he had been the subject of several complaints from from the public and her colleagues.

She explains that officers who use their weapon at work must systematically fill out a report for monitoring purposes.

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This automatically generates rapid intervention by&#x27 ;a supervisor to control the use of force on the ground, she continues.

Elle confirms that Agent Forcillo filled out such a form after shooting Sammy Yatim on the evening of July 27, 2013.

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A friend of Sammy Yatim holds a photograph outside the courthouse at the trial of James Forcillo.

Spdte Crooker further adds that Officer Forcillo did not follow the traditional hiring process as a cadet when he was recruited into the department in 2007.

He was hired internally and came from the Ontario Correctional Service and he had worked as a security guard at Queen's Park before, but I don't know about that. no more, she adds.

She explains that police officers who draw their weapons, with or without reason valid, must systematically review part of their training, return to patrol with a mentor or even consult a service psychologist.

However, she does not know if this was the case for Agent Forcillo, because&#x27 She was not responsible for his file at the time.

She explains that it is up to police supervisors to investigate when they use their firearm inappropriately. Supervisors have an obligation to investigate when a police officer violates the code of conduct on handling firearms, she said.

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Sammy Yatim came to Canada from Syria with his family three years before his death, because his parents wanted him to have a better education.

Spdte Crooker is, however, unable to reveal the number of investigations the police officer had to face in the year preceding the death of Sammy Yatim.

The coroner's investigation revealed that the agent Forcillo had even drawn his gun 10 days before the young man's death on July 16, 2013.

She maintains that agents who are too aggressive or too docile are nevertheless subject to professional and psychological supervision.

Bombarded with questions during the cross-examination of the victim's father's lawyer, Me Ed Upenieks, the superintendent interrupts, a tremor in her voice. I offer my condolences to the Yatim family, Sammy's death is a tragedy, she said.

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Sammy Yatim was killed on the night of July 27, 2013 when he showed his penis to distraught female passengers and brandished a knife on this city tram.

Mr. Upenieks asks him if there were any failures in the follow-ups on the behavior of Agent Forcillo, who particularly drew his weapon three times in the month of June 2012 alone.

Yes, there were flaws in the system and we are facing challenges this year, she admits.

We can't rewrite the story, but we have since closed these loopholes and added different levels control, she adds, stuttering.

She also confirms to the lawyer that numerous reports were written following Sammy's death: the Iacobucci report on the Toronto police; the OIPRD report; the Tulloch report on the independent review of police oversight bodies and Ombudsman André Marin's report on the use of force in policing.

She admits, however, that she has not read the conclusions.

< source srcset="https://images.radio-canada.ca/q_auto,w_700/v1/ici-info/16x9/yatim-tramway-forcillo.jpg" media="(min-width: 0px) and (max- width: 1023px)">Open in full screen mode

Image from tram surveillance video showing the last moments of Sammy Yatim's life before he was shot by Officer Forcillo.

Deputy Crooker assures Sammy Yatim's parents that compassion and ;empathy are qualities his police department looks for in recruits. We are always looking at ways to improve our policing practices, she said.

She specifies that the use of cameras on police uniforms has proven effective since the events of 2013 to monitor the conduct of officers in the field.

Supervisors' review is easier, because they have more independent information to evaluate the behavior of a police officer who draws his weapon in public, she explains.

She says her department is also trying to improve the hiring process to only recruit the best candidates. The selection is fair, transparent and impartial, she said.

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Police officer James Forcillo leaves the palace Toronto court after the jury's guilty verdict at his trial.

Spdte Crooker finally acknowledges that James Forcillo was kept on post after the young man's death and that he was always allowed to keep his firearm.

The police officer was suspended with pay when he faced criminal charges, then without pay when he was found guilty at the end of his trial. He was fired when he lost his appeal.

James Forcillo was sentenced to six years in prison in 2016 for attempted murder.

He had been acquitted of a main charge of unpremeditated murder for the first three shots he fired in the direction of the teenager. However, he was found guilty of attempted murder for the last six shots against the victim who was already lying on the floor of the tram.

He was paroled in 2020 after four years in prison. He is represented in this coroner's inquest by lawyer Peter Brauti.

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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