Cop who fatally shot teen on streetcar 'a hothead and a bully': Crown

TORONTO - A Crown prosecutor says a Toronto police officer who gunned down a teen on an empty streetcar was "a hothead and a bully" at the time of the confrontation which resulted in the youth's death.

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In closing arguments at the officer's trial, Crown lawyer Milan Rupic says Const. James Forcillo wanted to assert his authority over a "mouthy, mocking teenager" rather than trying to build a rapport with a person in crisis.

Rupic says Forcillo had a number of alternatives when he came face-to-face with Sammy Yatim in July 2013, and it was "not necessary and not reasonable" for the officer to shoot the 18-year-old.

Forcillo has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and attempted murder in Yatim's death -- an incident which triggered outrage across the city two and a half years ago.

His lawyer has argued in his own closing statements that Crown prosecutors are trying to "criminalize a judgment call" made by a first responder.

The defence, in calling for Forcillo's acquittal, says the officer's actions were justified and carried out in self-defence.


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