Judge delivers final instructions to jurors who will decide cop’s fate
A Toronto judge urged jurors Monday to treat the credibility of a police officer accused of killing a teen on an empty streetcar just as they would anyone else’s.
In his instructions to the jury, Justice Edward Then said Const. James Forcillo doesn’t get “special marks” for telling a court why he gunned down 18-yearold Sammy Yatim two years ago.
“You assess his credibility in the same manner as you do with any other witnesses. What he says may be evidence for or against him,” Then said.
Forcillo has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and attempted-murder in Yatim’s death. Crown prosecutors argue Forcillo’s actions weren’t necessary or reasonable but his lawyer contends the officer’s actions were justified and carried out in self-defence.
The jury has heard that on a night in July 2013, Yatim had taken the drug ecstasy before boarding a streetcar where he pulled out a small knife,
Jurors have heard emotional testimony from a woman sitting near Yatim when he swiped his knife towards her. They’ve also heard from the streetcar driver who spoke calmly to Yatim before jumping off the vehicle when the teen grew aggressive at the sound of police sirens.