Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Police Officer Charged in the Killing of Sammy Yatim
It was one of the most sickening things I have ever witnessed, the police execution of Sammy Yatim.
A teenager riddled with bullets on a streetcar for no sane reason. And then tasered as he lay there bleeding.
It was brutal, it was senseless, it was madness.
So I couldn't be happier about the decision to charge his killer.
A Toronto police officer has been committed to stand trial on a charge of second-degree murder in the shooting death of a teenager on a Toronto streetcar last summer. Const. James Forcillo is expected to go to trial next year in the death of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim.
Yatim was shot and killed on an empty streetcar on July 27, 2013 — an incident captured on surveillance and cellphone video, on which nine shots can be heard following shouted commands to drop a knife.
Because I can never forget what Rosie Di Manno wrote about that act of irrational violence.
I am sickened that a teenager with a small knife, who’d done nothing more hostile than shout profanities, was felled by a hail of bullets. I am sickened that a suspect already shot and dying was then Tasered.
I am sickened by the sight of the officer who’d fired the volley of bullets being pulled back by other cops, as if he needed to be restrained. Again I ask: Who was the impetuous and maddened instigator in this cast of characters?
Or how I felt the same way after watching this video.
For nothing will ever convince me that it couldn't have ended differently.
Nor can I forget that Sammy Yatim had escaped from the city of Aleppo, in Syria.
The City of the Dead...
Only to be executed like an animal in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
In a country that was once known for its genius for patient negotiation.
At the time I wrote about how I was once cornered by a psychotic person with a knife, and how I was able to talk him down, because I realized that he was more frightened of me than I was of him.
And how I couldn't help feeling, as presumptuous as this may seem, that if I had been there I would have been able to do the same thing. And the incident could have ended without anybody getting hurt.
I recognize that there are cases when police officers sometimes have no choice but to shoot someone to protect themselves. But this wasn't one of them.
And what I can never understand or accept is why so many mentally ill people, or humans in emotional distress, are killed by police in Canada for no good reason.
Or for that matter forget how Stephen Harper is trying to criminalize the mentally ill for crass political purposes, and further brutalize this country.
And that's all I can bring myself to say today, so painful is that memory.
Except enough is ENOUGH.
Poor Sammy Yatim. Let his senseless killing serve some purpose.
And now let there be justice...
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