The Death Of The Streetcar Essay

The Death Of The Streetcar Essay

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On July 26th, 2013, tragedy struck in Toronto, just before 12am. An 18-year old male named Sammy Yatim was shot and killed by a Toronto officer. As shown in the videos from the streetcar, Sammy boarded the car that was heading westbound on Dundas street at approximately 11:45 pm (Rogan,2014). When boarding the streetcar, he headed to the very back. Shortly after, four females boarded and also sat at the back near Sammy. Not long after, he drew out his switchblade knife that was 12cm long and tried to slash a passenger named Bridgette Mcgregor’s throat. He had also pulled out his penis and exposed himself to the girls. This put everyone on board into a panic. Everyone rushed to the doors of the streetcar trying to get away from Yatim. With the knife in one hand and his penis in the other, he began to walk towards the front of the streetcar. All passengers exited and it was just Sammy and the driver. Several witnesses were outside and had called 911. Soon after,Police arrived and the driver exited the streetcar (Rogan, 2014). Constable James Forcillo of the Toronto Police Service asked his partner to radio for a taser to subdue him (Wikipedia, 2016). Two other officers, as well as Forcillo shouted at least 6 times, “drop the knife!”. After each remark, Yatim’s response was the same: “you 're fucking pussy” (Rogan, 2014). The officers had also warned him not to “take one step in this direction”. At first as shown on the surveillance videos, Sammy had turned away and stepped back further into the streetcar. Then, he came forward facing Forcillo and took a step toward the exit. Forcillo fired 3 shots, bringing Sammy to the ground, leaving him shaking while clenching the knife. Other officers were still shouting “drop it” (Rogan,2014) ...


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...to why in following with his training he fired his gun. After an eleven member jury had spent many hours deliberating and deciding if he was legally justified or if it was murder, Constable Forcillo was found guilty of attempted murder. “The finding of guilt suggests the jury felt Yatim was no longer a threat when Forcillo fired at him six times, striking him five times in his lower part of his paralyzed body but not causing the fatal injuries that led to his death.”(Hasham, 2016) Moments after the trial Yatim’s mom had made a comment to The star saying “For me it 's the first step, I would now like to be a part of the discussion to change the police training and police policies dealing with people in crisis, so this painful incident does not repeat again” Allowing people to know that although Forcillo was found guilty of murder she does not feel that it was enough.

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