TORONTO – A preliminary inquiry has been set for next year for a Toronto police officer charged in the shooting death of Sammy Yatim.
Const. James Forcillo, who’s free on $510,000 bail, wasn’t in court on Monday, but his lawyer Peter Brauti and the Crown lawyer appeared before a judge at the 361 University courthouse to set dates for the preliminary hearing, which is held to see if there is enough evidence to go to trial for April, May and June of 2014.
Brauti said it’s unusual to set a preliminary inquiry so early in the process, but he said the case deserved to move forward quickly as there is a lot of public interest in the matter.
Forcillo, 30, was arrested and formally charged with second-degree murder on Aug. 20 and granted bail only hours later.
On July 27, eighteen-year-old Yatim was shot multiple times by police during a standoff on an empty TTC streetcar. The incident was captured on cellphone and surveillance video on which nine shots can be heard — seconds after shouts for Yatim to drop the knife.
Yatim was allegedly waving a knife earlier at passengers. The story made headlines around the world and called Toronto police tactics into question.
The province’s police watchdog is investigating. The police chief launched an internal review and the province’s ombudsman is also investigating the incident.
— With files from The Canadian Press