Toronto·CBC Forum

Your thoughts on the Toronto streetcar shooting verdict

A Toronto police officer has been found guilty of attempted murder, even though the person he shot died from his wounds. Readers shared thoughts on the verdict in our latest CBC Forum.

Jury finds Const. James Forcillo guilty of attempted murder, not guilty of 2nd-degree murder

Const. James Forcillo has been found guilty of attempted murder in the 2013 shooting death of a teen on an empty streetcar, an incident that sparked public outrage and street protests in Toronto. (Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press)

A Toronto police officer has been found guilty of attempted murder, even though the person he shot died from his wounds.

Const. James Forcillo was found not guilty of second-degree murder.

The officer initially fired three bullets at Sammy Yatim,18, as the teen stood alone on an empty streetcar in 2013 brandishing a knife. 

Forcillo then fired six more bullets after the teen had fallen to the floor of the streetcar. Eight of the nine bullets struck the teen.

Dozens of readers shared their thoughts about the verdict on our CBC Forum — a live, hosted discussion where readers can talk about stories of national interest.

(Note that usernames are not necessarily the commenters' names. Some comments have been edited for length, to correct spelling and to conform to CBC style. Click on the username to read the original comment.)

Many readers criticized Forcillo's actions.

"My concern is that the constable felt it necessary to shoot nine times. After watching the video of the incident, my question is 'Why couldn't a Taser be used before a shot was fired?'" — BillyBarcode

"There was no one at risk if Sammy Yatim had been left alone until he cooled down or got hungry or went to sleep." — Sara Lennard

  "If it was such a dangerous situation the officers were in, then I'm wondering why no other officer fired their weapons?" —  Glen

Others argued that Forcillo should have been exonerated.

"The public was protected, the officer did his job and if I ever need assistance I hope the police officer is a good shot." — Vladimir

"This verdict will have major implications for police and sadly will likely cost more lives as a result of police not willing to respond to violent situations for fear of trial by media." — ProPatria

"I believe this verdict sets an extremely dangerous precedent throughout the policing community." — James Brown

And many commenters were left with questions.

"Aren't officers trained to handle these situations and to try to ensure everyone lives including the perpetrator?" — hms

"As a retired army sergeant, I do not understand how … you have at least 20 police officers on scene but no one particularly in charge of the situation, and any one of the officers can engage the subject at will. It's like a bunch of cowboys showing up. In a military situation, someone would be in control who would give orders on what actions would take place. Nobody would fire their weapons unless told so." — Richard O'Mara

​"I am having trouble understanding how one can be found guilty of attempted murder when the subject is dead." — Deb

​Read the complete discussion below.

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