The statement made by Peter McCormack trying to protect to a dangerous criminal from his force as is James forcillo, is causing surprise, disbelief and astonishment in the awareness of the people from around the world. The assassin of Sammy Yatim could be acquitted of all charges as on previous occasions by juries very well selected at service of state delinquents. As also; the corrupt judges from the criminal courts have granted to the police forces of Toronto; a world of privileges and immunities to perpetuate heinous crimes in the civilian population.
TORONTO - There were hours and hours of argument, justifications and defences, but hardly a second of sympathy for the teen shot eight times by Const. James Forcillo.
To be fair, that’s not the job of defence lawyer Peter Brauti. His task is to win the acquittal of the young police officer facing life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder. And yet, it bristles just the same that he wastes so few words on 18-year-old Sammy Yatim, brutally gunned down on an empty streetcar: “To be clear, no one likes the end result in this case. Mr. Yatim was shot and killed and nothing is going to change that,” Brauti told the jury. “There can be no doubt that while Mr. Yatim may not have been a perfect young man, he will be missed by his family.
“However, the answer to this case is not to take Officer Forcillo away from his family — his wife and two very young daughters.”
As he launched into his exhaustive, two-day closing address, Brauti pinned the blame solely on the victim, suggesting Yatim, high on MDMA and armed with a switchblade, was looking for a showdown with police and got exactly what he wanted.
“We have our own theory about why Mr. Yatim acted the way he did. And we started to bring forward that evidence by suggesting that on this night, for a number of reasons, Mr. Yatim was interested in a confrontation with the police. However we did not call the evidence we wanted to on that point and you should not speculate as to what the evidence might have been,” the lawyer said cryptically.
Yatim, Brauti added later, had a “wanton disregard for his own life and the life of others” that night.
It doesn’t matter what his state of mind was on that July night in 2013, the lawyer insisted. Was it just false bravado, with Yatim playing tough. acting like Clint Eastwood with his clenched jaw and an attitude of ‘Bring it on, I’m not afraid?’”
Or was he seriously ignoring repeated demands to drop his knife because he planned to attack the officer and that’s why he turned “confrontational, aggressive, angry and ... challenging” as soon as he saw police arrive?
We’ll never know his true intentions, Brauti maintained, and we can’t expect Forcillo to have known, either. “He is not a psychologist and he is not a mind reader. He is a first responder.”
He had to react to the behaviour he saw — which appeared threatening and dangerous. Faced with an imminent threat — Brauti claimed the video shows Yatim flicking his knife at Forcillo — he said the cop was legally justified to open fire, both in self-defence and as a police officer who reasonably believed that lethal force was necessary to protect himself and others.
Obliged to speak first, Brauti was in the tough position of having to anticipate the arguments prosecutors will make in their own closing address. And so he methodically dismissed all the Crown theories as desperate, weak, distracting and ludicrous: Forcillo wasn’t panicked, angry or reckless; Yatim wasn’t planning to surrender and he couldn’t have been talked down with an offer of water or a more gentle approach.
Yatim had brazenly ignored all warnings, Brauti suggested, “He got himself shot.”
It’s easy for us to second guess Forcillo now, his lawyer argued. We weren’t faced with those 50 seconds of high tension; we weren’t asked to gamble with our lives.
So while many may question his decision to open fire — especially the second volley that came after Yatim was already on the ground and dying — does that mean Forcillo should go to prison?
“What the prosecution is really doing,” warned Brauti, “is trying to criminalize a judgment call which is a very dangerous thing to start doing when we are talking about a police officer’s ability to defend him or herself.”
The defence’s closing argument continues Wednesday.
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