Target: Ontario, Canada Justice Edward Then
Goal: Applaud the conviction of a police officer involved in the killing of Sammy Yatim.
A Toronto police officer has been charged, convicted, and sentenced to six years in prison for his role in the shooting of teenager Sammy Yatim following public outrage and petitions such as this one from ForceChange. This conviction represents an important step forward in terms of police accountability in Canada, a country in which police forces are often criticized for a lack of transparency and accountability, especially in cases of police violence.
Constable James Forcillo confronted 18-year-old Sammy Yatim who was brandishing a knife on an empty streetcar. Seconds after asking Yatim to drop the knife, Forcillo fired his first volley of shots. After Yatim fell to the ground, fatally wounded, Forcillo shot him several more times.
While the court ruled that the first volley of shots was legal and a reasonable response, the judge ruled that the second volley was “unreasonable, unnecessary, and excessive.” Sign our petition and applaud the conviction of the killer of Sammy Yatim and this important step toward police accountability in Canada.
Dear Justice Then,
I am writing to applaud your ruling in the case of the killing of Sammy Yatim. I believe that the conviction of Constable James Forcillo is an important step forward in repairing community-police relations and reassuring the public that victims of police violence and their families can seek justice through the Canadian justice system.
Furthermore, I believe that in recognizing a distinction between Forcillo’s actions before and after the initial shooting moves the public discourse on interactions between the police and the community toward a more nuanced discussion of when officers cross the line from reasonable policing to brutality. In light of recent tensions between Canadian police forces and some communities, this ruling may well facilitate some amount of bridge-building.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: liftarn