Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sammy Yatim Killing: The Spin Cycle Has Begun

There is no question that the police and their supporters are desperate to 'change the channel' from the murder of Sammy Yatim to the terrible pressures police officers face. As I noted in a blog posting last evening, that organ of the right, The Globe and Mail, started the process with an editorial that can only be described as defensive and patronizing, urging all of us to just calm down.

Last evening, I was watching, and a Critical Incident Support Team member, Sgt Mike McAllister, talked about how devasting it can be for officers who take a civilian's life. To watch the accompanying video, click here.

In today's Star (which, by the way, has been providing excellent coverage of this tragedy) the officer involced in the shooting, Const. James Forcillo, a six-year-veteran of the force, is described by Toronto Police Association president Mike McCormack as distraught. “He’s having a tough time with it.” McCormack said the officer’s family is also “devastated” by the event.

Feelings of sympathy for the officer seem to abound: When asked Tuesday night if Forcillo was devastated by the turn of events, a colleague at 14 Division said: “That’s an understatement.”

Says Forcillo's lawyer, Peter Brauti:

“Like any officer involved in a loss-of-life incident, this officer is devastated,” Brauti said. “All we can do at this point is wait for the investigation into the matter to conclude. It is important that people not rush to judgment in this matter.”

By the way, Brauti said his client has not yet been interviewed by the SIU. He is still reviewing the information provided to him before advising his client whether he should exercise his right to remain silent. He may be devasted, but clearly doesn't necessarily believe that confession is good for the soul.

Meanwhile, perhaps we should limit the word devastated and its variants to Sammy Yatim's family who, for the rest of their lives, must live with the loss inflicted upon them by an officer apparently too quick to shoot and too slow to ask questions.


  1. They sound like really sensitive, caring guys.

    That's why their negotiating tactics consist of "Drop the knife or I'll kill you!"

    1. Despite all the training they are supposed to have received over the past years on defusing situations, thwap, it is sad that it so often seems to come to this.

  2. I was going to post yesterday that we will be hearing that the video does not tell the whole story. Sure enough .. we are now being told to disbelief what our eyes and ears tell us from watching the video.

    I do not know if the officer is feeling devastated but one would have thought that they would have taken into consideration the victim's family's feelings, no?

    Kind of like the Americans being devastated when there is loss of American lives but the loss of others' lives is "collateral damage".

    1. The 'band of the blue brotherhood' does seem to be concerned more about one of their own than the victims of their actions, don't they, Anon?


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