Sammy Yatim's family suing Toronto police and Chief

The $8-million lawsuit was launched back in February, according to the Toronto Star

Sammy Yatim was shot and killed on board a TTC streetcar on July 27,2013

Saturday, July 27 will mark one year since 18-year old Sammy Yatim was shot and killed on board a Toronto streetcar, and we're learning that his family filed an $8-million dollar lawsuit earlier this year.

The Star claims that the Yatim family is suing the Toronto Police Services Board, Chief Bill Blair, two officers who haven't been named, and Constable James Forcillo, the officer who's facing a second degree murder charge for the teen's death.

The lawsuit alleges that the force used upon Sammy Yatim that evening, "was not justifiable at law. The force applied was excessive and unreasonable,” according to the statement.

Prominent Toronto lawyer Julian Falconer is representing the family.

The teen's relatives also claim they are suffering from psychological conditions, such as anxiety and depression.

The lawsuit states that Yatim "was experiencing a period of emotional disturbance at the time he was shot” on board the TTC streetcar at Dundas St. West. Numerous videos of the incident were taken and Yatim was shot at nine times, and hit eight times. He was tasered by another officer afterwards.

Two Independent reviews of the Toronto Police's use of force policies were launched, after the shooting and the outcry from the public.

Constable James Forcillo is facing a charge of second degree murder and is expected to go to trial, next year. He was released on $510,000 bail in February and is back to work in an administrative role.

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  1. Suz58 posted on 07/23/2014 07:39 AM
    And so they should. I think that has got to be the most horrific video I have ever seen! It was overkill at best! I wish the family all the best. RIP Sammy
    1. dama posted on 07/23/2014 08:09 AM
      @Suz58 and James Forcillo's lawyer said that video did not tell the WHOLE story.. I wonder which video he has that we have not seen that will tell James Forcillo's firing is justified...

      Rightly so to sue, hope they would get the $8 million and more for Sammy's death.. .
    2. Suz58 posted on 07/23/2014 09:38 AM
      @dama Yes Dama, I can still hear the shots, I remembered counting them and I can still see the image of Sammy's foot quivering. If Sammy would have been a real threat that night, he would not have told everyone to get off the streetcar.
      I hear you, the video I saw was from a bystander from a cell phone. I am not going to say how many cops were there but, I do know it was over five and if they could not subdue Sammy without shooting, these cops should not be working on the force.
      As for another video, maybe they are talking about an edited one, which sadly enough, I would not put it past them.

      Yes, I hope the family gets every penny! And even more, the cops involved be fired with no compensation.

      I have worked with individuals with developmental disabilities and have been to a couple of workshops for training on non-crisis intervention. Supposedly, cops are learning how to deal with people with psychological disabilities such as schizophrenia, depression, bi polar, etc. without using weapons and brute force. Obviously, young Sammy had something going on and those officers decided just to shoot rather than find out what was going on in his mind. If Sammy was truly a threat to others, he would have hurt someone on that streetcar.
      It is time for police departments to stop hiring cops hyped on testosterone and control and hire cops with brains, compassion and education.
    3. Jim posted on 07/23/2014 11:49 AM
      @Suz58 Suz, f you. How long is a cop supposed to wait? Until a deranged person has injured or killed an innocent bystander? This is the problem with people like you. You have never had to stare down someone who is disturbed and armed. I suggest you try it sometime before you shoot your mouth off.
    4. Suz58 posted on 07/23/2014 03:09 PM
      @Jim So little you know Jim! I suggest you stop running off at the mouth until you know what you are talking about.

      This young man had a knife, do you think it was justified to fill him full of bullets and then taser him to finish him off? He was not threatening anyone, or harm anyone. He told everyone to get off the streetcar.

      Maybe the taser would have been sufficient for him to drop the knife? Why didn't all the cops fire shots?

      I have stared people down with weapons and never had one myself. It is amazing how you can calm someone down with talk and reason and find out what the problem is before shooting them full of holes!

      It is people and attitudes such as yours that are the problem in this country. He was a kid, and if the cops had of tried, I am sure they could have reached him. Treating someone like a human goes a long way!
    5. Jim posted on 07/24/2014 08:01 AM
      @Suz58 Good God you are stupid. You can't reason with disturbed people. They are irrational and therefore unpredictable.

      But I'll make you a deal. One of my best friends in the world is in a facility for people who are mentally disturbed. Let's giver her a knife, put you in a room alone with her and see how long it is before you're screaming for the police to do something.

      Since you can obviously read minds how do you know he wouldn't have done something if someone had gotten too close to him?

      Bottom line, the kid was a danger to public safety. He ignored several warnings to drop the knife. It's unfortunate, but when you pull a weapon on a crowded street car bad things are going to happen, period.
    6. Suz58 posted on 07/24/2014 09:45 AM
      @Jim This was not a closed room. Before being shot, did Sammy not get everyone to leave?

      The scenario about your friend and this are two different stories. Let us be realistic. Again, it is the point that the cops shot 8 times and then tasered him. I understand that the cops have to protect themselves too.

      Obviously the person taking the video on his phone did not feel as threatened as the cops did.

      You can reason with a disturbed person, you may have to use a different approach and it may take a little longer and yes, circumstances are different. As far as being stupid, if that is what I am, I would much rather be stupid than like minded as the cops that killed Sammy Yatim.
  2. Jim posted on 07/23/2014 11:46 AM
    And maybe the people on the street car with him should sue the Yatim family for the stress and anxiety caused by their son's actions. This is a cash grab. Money won't bring their son back.
    1. Dean posted on 07/23/2014 12:13 PM
      @Jim Exactly, I think a good class-action suit is in order.

      Personally, I'd rather see a hundred Sammy Yatims shot dead for terrorizing innocent people than to see even one person hurt because a police officer cared more about public OPINION than public SAFETY.
    2. Suz58 posted on 07/23/2014 03:30 PM
      @Dean I am by no means saying what Sammy Yatim did was right but, if you recall the cop killer down east a couple of months ago, those cops could have blown him away and no questions asked. They did not.
      Cops are suppose to be trained in diffusing situations such as this. If they could not, then I could understand a shot in the leg or arm, they could have taken the knife after that and took him into custody. It is the 8 bullets and the taser I disagree with.
      Actions like this from the cops, just raises the barriers between them and people in the community, including criminals.
      From the articles I have read, there was either drugs or a psychological problem with Sammy Yatim. With schizophrenia on the rise amongst young people his age, the force should be involved in special training on how to diffuse these situations. And actually at a couple of workshops I attended, I was under the impression that they were. Obviously not!
      No, the money will not bring their son back but suing the police force may make them think about how to handle this kind of situation the next time.
      Best of luck to the Yatim family!
    3. Dean posted on 07/23/2014 03:42 PM
      @Suz58 You bring up an interesting point about training; how much training have YOU had in dealing with armed and mentally unstable individuals in an enclosed space? Was it more than is provided to the Toronto Police? It's possible, but not likely unless you're in the military or high-end private security. What makes you feel that you're qualified to second-guess their training?

      As for drugs or mental illness, how is that relevant? When a man is holding a knife and screaming at you, does it matter if it's because the voices in his head have told him to do it?
    4. Jim posted on 07/24/2014 08:09 AM
      @Suz58 Police are trained to aim for the center of mass to put a person down to stay. You don't shoot them in the leg or arm and give them a chance to do any more damage than they have already done. Even wounded an armed person is a threat.

      As to the cop killer down east, big difference. When confronted he surrendered.
    5. Suz58 posted on 07/24/2014 09:34 AM
      @Dean I have dealt with people with developmental disabilities and yes, beaten up once. I was side by side with him. He did not have a weapon but many other things within his reach to use as one. I am not trained for police service. Yes, I did talk this guy down and changed the situation. It was the clerk in the store that set him off, I got him out of public and removed him from the situation so he could not harm anyone else.

      But, 8 shots to Sammy and then, let's use the taser? He had a knife, he asked everyone to get off the streetcar.
      As for drugs or mental illness, do people who are not either under the influence of drugs or alcohol or without some kind of mental illness act like Sammy did?

      And yes, it does matter weather there is a mental illness. I am sure you saw the video and how far away the cops were from the streetcar.

      He had a knife, not a gun, he was the only one on that streetcar. Cops have blow horns and tasers. This was over kill!

      With the proper training, the cops should have been able to take Sammy alive! This kind of thing happens all the time, what better way to find out how to deal and learn how to deal with things like this than to talk to these people and find out what was going on?
  3. Suz58 posted on 07/24/2014 09:58 AM
    Between the drugs and the stressors on teens these days, the police should be made to take courses on mental illness and how to diffuse situations such as this. This was over kill plain and simple!
    Schizophrenia is more predominant in the age group of late teens to about 24 years. There is also drug induced schiz, meaning that even doing hard core drugs such as crack cocaine can bring it on.
    Questions I have about this case...why did only one or two cops shoot?
    Why eight shots and then taser? This all took place after the streetcar was empty and the cops were how many feet away?
    Training for cops seems much more sensible than spending how much on umbrellas and rocks at sugar beach.
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