James Forcillo trial: Jury to decide fate of Toronto police officer

The fate of a Toronto police officer charged in the shooting death of a teenager on an empty streetcar now rests in the hands of a jury.

Constable charged in 2013 shooting death of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim

Const. James Forcillo, seen here walking with his wife, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and attempted murder in the death of an 18-year-old. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

The fate of a Toronto police officer charged in the shooting death of a teenager on an empty streetcar now rests in the hands of a jury.

Const. James Forcillo pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and attempted murder in the July 2013 death of Sammy Yatim.

Superior Court Justice Edward Then concluded two and a half days of final instructions to the jury by telling them to keep an open mind to arrive at a just verdict.

Crown prosecutors argue Forcillo's actions weren't necessary or reasonable, but his lawyer contends the officer's actions were justified and carried out in self-defence.

The jury has heard that on a night in July 2013, Yatim had taken the drug ecstasy before boarding a streetcar where he pulled out a small knife, sparking a panicked exodus.

Videos and audio played at the trial have shown that Forcillo arrived on the scene, yelled repeatedly at Yatim to drop the knife, and after a 50-second confrontation fired nine bullets at the teen in two separate volleys.

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