Sammy Yatim's shooting sparks ombudsman review

Friends and family of Sammy Yatim who was killed by Toronto police on July 27 gathered for a demo at Dundas Square in downtown Toronto, ON and at the scene of the shooting.

Credits: MICHAEL PEAKE/Toronto Sun/QMI A


TORONTO - Ontario's ombudsman will take a closer look at the Toronto Police shooting of Sammy Yatim to determine if a wider investigation is needed.

Andre Marin said he has directed his staff to "conduct a case assessment" to determine whether such a probe into the 18-year-old's death is "warranted."

"The ministry has the power to set standards for Ontario police services," Marin said in a statement released Wednesday.

"The latest shooting by a Toronto Police officer raises the question of whether it is time for the ministry to direct Ontario police services on how to de-escalate situations of conflict before they lead to the use of fatal force."

A knife-wielding Yatim was on a Toronto streetcar early Saturday when he was shot nine times during brief confrontation with police, allegedly by Const. James Forcillo.

The dramatic confrontation, captured on video by bystanders, has prompted outrage across the country.

The ombudsman said the assessment he has called for will "examine the direction and guidelines provided by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services to Ontario's police services for de-escalating situations that could potentially result in the use of force."

Marin said the case assessment will not affect the ongoing probe by the Special Investigations Unit, Ontario's police watchdog.

But his office will "monitor" the SIU's work" and pay particular attention to issues surrounding police co-operation, which SIU director Ian Scott has complained about in the past."

"A case assessment is always the first step in any ombudsman investigation," Marin said, adding his staff have been told to finish the assessment "as quickly as possible."

Sun News Videos

Mink farming

Nova Scotia produces half of Canada's mink fur.

Feminist 'consent underwear' spark debate

Do consent underwear just change the conversation from 'rape culture' to 'slut culture'?

Afghanistan's upcoming election

With an election rapidly approaching, change is on its way to Afghanistan. Good or bad, the world is watching.

Ezra Levant’s The Source is the most provocative and thought-changing multimedia show in Canada.

This show is 100% focused on the political battles taking place across Canada, in the United States...even around the world.

Michael Coren brings you strong, balanced opinions to challenge conventional thinking.

Byline brings you the stories you won’t hear anywhere else while exploring points of view that are all too often ignored.