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Toronto cop charged in shooting death of teen

TORONTO (AP) — Ontario’s police watchdog on Monday charged a Toronto police officer with murder in the shooting death of a young man wielding a knife in an empty streetcar.

The shooting last month was caught on video and posted on YouTube, leading to an outcry in Canada’s largest city.

The video shows 18-year-old Sammy Yatim holding a knife inside the streetcar, with police outside. Yatim goads the officers, who yell, “Drop your knife!”

Shortly after, nine shots are fired. The final six shots appear to come after Yatim has fallen to the floor. A Taser is then used.

Yatim died from multiple gunshot wounds.

The Special Investigations Unit announced Monday that it has charged Const. James Forcillo with second-degree murder.

Yatim’s sister praised the move. “The SIU charged the cop with 2nd degree murder!!! Good morning JUSTICE,” Sarah Yatim said on Twitter.

The SIU said Forcillo has not yet been arrested because an arrest warrant was just issued. Forcillo was suspended from the police force last month.

Toronto police and Peter Brauti, the lawyer representing Forcillo, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Yatim’s death prompted hundreds of people to take to the streets on two separate days of protest to call for justice.

Toronto’s police chief has said retired justice Dennis O’Connor will lead a separate review of police procedures, use of force and police response to emotionally disturbed people.

Ontario’s ombudsman Andre Marin has also launched an investigation, probing what kind of direction the provincial government provides to police for defusing conflict situations.



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