Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Former Toronto Police Detective Calls Officer's Shooting of Teen, which was Caught on Video, "Excessive Force"

Toronto Police officers seconds before shooting
and killing Sammy Yatim
By Davy V.

Excessive force.

That's what a former Toronto, Canada Police detective is calling the shooting of 18-year old Sammy Yatim, by a Toronto police officer.

Yatim was holding a knife inside an empty streetcar early Saturday, when several police officers yelled "Drop your knife!"

A few seconds later, three shots are heard.

Then, six more shots.
Sammy Yatim

Ontario's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said Yatim died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Tony Vella, a Toronto Police spokesman said that the officer who shot and killed Yatim, has been suspended with pay.

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, who saw the video, said he understands the public's concern over the shooting, and is also conducting an investigation into the shooting.

"I recognize there is a need for answers," Blair said.

Mark Mendelson, a former Toronto Police detective said something I have never heard a current, or former law enforcement official say, when it comes to the power of video.

Mendelson said that investigators have the benefit of video, which "doesn't lie."

Mendelson went on to say, "If you look at it on its face value at this point, it's not hard to come to the conclusion that excessive force was used."

Outrage over the shooting led hundreds, including Yatim's mother and sister, to take to the streets Monday, in a march calling for justice for Yatim, as well as an end to police violence.

Protesters shouted "Shame!", and some even confronted police officers who were monitoring the march.

Sammy Yatim's uncle, Jim Yatim said Sammy was born to Canadian parents in Syria and came to Canada, to live with his father five years ago.

He said no one ever had anything negative to say about Sammy's character.

In an email to the Associated Press, Jim Yatim writes, "A tragedy has happened, and there is no undoing of what has occurred, the kid is dead. Shot down in a senseless act of one-upmanship, a trigger happy cop, a loud mouthed teen, and boom."

Yatim's email goes on to say, "My family and I have paid the ultimate price."


Click Play to watch

Follow me on twitter