Judge delivers final instructions to jurors who will decide Forcillo's fate

TORONTO -- Jurors deciding the fate of a Toronto police officer charged in the fatal shooting of a teen on an empty streetcar were asked Monday to assess the evidence in the case with an open mind.

See Full Article

In his instruction to the jury, Justice Edward Then said the Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Const. James Forcillo is guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Sammy Yatim.

"If you believe that officer Forcillo is probably guilty but no more, then in those circumstances you must find him not guilty," the judge said.

Forcillo has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and attempted murder.

The jury has heard that on a night in July 2013, Yatim had taken the drug ecstasy before boarding a streetcar where he pulled out a small knife, prompting panicked passengers to rush off the vehicle.

Videos and audio played at the trial have shown that Forcillo arrived on the scene, yelled repeatedly at Yatim to drop the knife, and after a 50-second confrontation fired nine bullets at the teen.

Crown prosecutors argue Forcillo's actions weren't necessary or reasonable but his lawyer contends the officer's actions were justified and carried out in self-defence.

The judge highlighted the fact that Forcillo had testified in his own defence, reminding the jury that the officer got "no special marks" for doing so.

"You assess his credibility in the same manner as you do with any other witnesses. What he says may be evidence for or against him," Then said.

He noted, however, that Forcillo's testimony had to be carefully considered.

"If you believe the evidence of the accused then you must acquit him," Then said.

"If you do not believe the evidence of the accused but are left in a state of reasonable doubt on the evidence of the accused, then you must also acquit him."

The jury also didn't need to find a motive or reasons for Forcillo's actions on the night Yatim died, Then said.

"It is for you to decide whether officer Forcillo had a motive or any motive at all, and how much or how little you will rely on it."

Forcillo has told the jury that he believed Yatim was going to rush off the streetcar and launch an attack when he said he saw the teen flick his knife towards him.

The jury has heard that when Yatim took a few steps back to the spot at the top of the streetcar steps, Forcillo -- who had warned the teen not to take another step forward -- fires nine bullets at Yatim in two separate volleys.

The teen collapses immediately. The entire standoff lasted about 50 seconds.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Canadian citizen convicted in absentia in deadly Bulgaria bus bombing

    Canada News CBC News
    A Bulgarian court sentenced two men of Lebanese origin for life on Monday over a 2012 bus bombing that killed five Israeli tourists and a Bulgarian driver, an act Bulgarian authorities have blamed on Lebanese Shia Muslim group Hezbollah. Source
  • U.K. faces soaring COVID-19 death rate unless it acts fast, medics warn

    World News CBC News
    Britain will face an exponentially growing death rate from COVID-19 within weeks unless Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government moves urgently to halt a rapidly spreading second wave of the outbreak, the country's senior medics said on Monday. Source
  • U.K. science advisers warn of darker COVID-19 days ahead

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- Britain's top medical advisers on Monday painted a grim picture of exponential growth in illness and death if nothing is done to control the second wave of coronavirus infections, laying the groundwork for the government to announce new restrictions later this week. Source
  • Madrid adopts virus restrictions exposing poor-rich divide

    World News CTV News
    MADRID -- Police in the Spanish capital and its surrounding towns on Monday stopped people coming in and out of some working-class neighbourhoods that have been partially locked down to stem Europe's fastest coronavirus spread. The police controls will only relay information on the restrictions for the first two days. Source
  • Toddler dies in her sleep after parents are told by doctor she only has the flu

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The distraught mother of a two-year-old girl who died in her sleep three days after being told by doctors her daughter only had the flu says she feels the health-care system failed her. It has been nine months since Newmarket Ont. Source
  • EU weighs Lukashenko sanctions, meets his Belarus opponent

    World News CTV News
    BRUSSELS -- European Union foreign ministers on Monday were weighing whether to impose sanctions on dozens of Belarus officials, including President Alexander Lukashenko, after holding talks with his exiled main opponent. The EU has drawn up a list of around 40 people it could hit with asset freezes and travel bans in response to irregularities in the Aug. Source
  • Emmys 2020: A glitch-free technical triumph and a thrilling comedy sweep for Schitt's Creek

    World News CBC News
    It was a night of pitchy Zoom-audio, surprisingly few technical issues and historic wins — particularly for Canadian comedy Schitt's Creek — at the 72nd annual Emmy Awards on Sunday night. Though organizers had to dispatch nearly 130 camera-kits to nominees around the globe to accommodate stars staying at home due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, everything came together despite early predictions of dropped calls and general disaster. Source
  • Hospitalizations, deaths will follow Ontario's COVID-19 surge, but how many remains unclear

    Canada News CBC News
    The fresh spike in new COVID-19 cases in Ontario is not yet bringing an equivalent spike in hospital patients or deaths from the coronavirus, but experts say it's too early to draw conclusions. Over the past week, as Premier Doug Ford and his government slapped new restrictions on private gatherings, Ontario reported an average of 335 new confirmed COVID-19 infections daily. Source
  • Pediatricians sound alarm on lack of support needed to meet flu shot demand amid COVID-19

    Canada News CBC News
    Ontario pediatricians say their calls for the financial and logistical support needed to do more flu vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic have so far gone unheeded and fear an "imminent crisis" lies ahead. "We … would like to express our urgent concerns regarding an imminent crisis in influenza vaccination," said an online petition launched on Change.org Saturday by the pediatrics section of the Ontario Medical Association. Source
  • Back to school means back to stress and anxiety for grandparents during coronavirus pandemic

    Canada News CBC News
    It's not only parents who are trying to navigate back to school for their children. Some grandparents are trying to figure out where they fit into the maze of modified classrooms, remote learning and home-schooling while many of their adult children work from home. Source