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Forcillo sentencing hearing postponed to Wednesday as lawyers prepare arguments

Last Updated May 16, 2016 at 11:14 am EST

(Left) Toronto police Const. James Forcillo arrives at court in the shooting death of Sammy Yatim, on Jan. 6, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette. (Right) Sammy Yatim, 18, pictured in a Facebook photo.

The sentencing hearing of a Toronto police officer found guilty of attempted murder in the death of a teen on an empty streetcar has been postponed to Wednesday.

Lawyers for Const. James Forcillo requested extra time Monday to complete their preparations on the case.

Forcillo has filed a constitutional challenge to the mandatory minimum sentence of four or five years that he faces in the shooting death of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim in July 2013.

Forcillo was acquitted in January of second-degree murder in Yatim’s death, but a jury found the officer guilty of attempted murder for continuing to fire after the dying teen had fallen to the floor.


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Forcillo’s lawyers are arguing that certain sections of the Criminal Code involving the mandatory minimum sentence for attempted murder are unconstitutional and weren’t meant to deal with cases like Forcillo’s.

Yatim’s death, which was captured on cellphone video that went viral, triggered public outrage and prompted Toronto’s police chief to launch a review of officers’ use of force and their response to emotionally disturbed people.

Forcillo, who is out on bail, had pleaded not guilty to the charges he faced in Yatim’s death.