Judge de­liv­ers fi­nal in­struc­tions to jurors who will de­cide cop’s fate

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

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.

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