Canada
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

CHRIS DOUCETTE | QMI AGENCY

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."

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