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Toronto police chief says answers will be provided after cops shoot young man multiple times


 

TORONTO – Toronto police will do everything they can to answer all the questions surrounding the “tragic” death of a young man shot by officers over the weekend, Chief Bill Blair said Monday.

Sammy Yatim, 18, was killed while he was on a city streetcar early Saturday morning following an altercation with police, an incident that was captured on video and has triggered a flood of public outrage online.

Blair said he understood the public had many questions about police conduct.

“I recognize that there is a need for answers and that the public quite rightfully expects that the matter will be thoroughly investigated. I want to assure you all that this will be done,” Blair told reporters.

“The public also has a right to demand that the Toronto Police Service examine the conduct of its officers to ensure that its training and procedures are both appropriate and followed. This will be done.”

Blair added that police will co-operate fully with Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit, which is investigating the 18-year-old’s death.

The SIU said an “interaction” between Yatim and police— which also included the use of a Taser — left the young man with multiple gunshot wounds.

Yatim was taken to hospital where he died of his injuries. A post mortem was conducted over the weekend.

The police watchdog said it is investigating the actions of one police officer in relation to Yatim’s death. In the course of its investigation, the SIU said it will be interviewing 22 witness officers who may have information on the incident.

The SIU has assigned six investigators and two forensic investigators to analyse the incident. Witnesses are being interviewed and video footage is being scrutinized.

Blair said in addition to the SIU investigation, he would be conducting a separate probe to see if police procedures and training were followed.

“A full report of my review, actions and recommendations will be submitted to the Toronto police services board within 30 days of being notified that the SIU has reported the results of their investigation to the Attorney General,” he said.

Ontario’s premier called Yatim’s death and the circumstances around it a “tragic situation.”

“My heart goes out to the family,” said Kathleen Wynne, adding that she couldn’t comment on the incident while it was under investigation.

Ontario’s ombudsman also weighed in on the case, saying his office would be reviewing the incident to determine if it could trigger a wider investigation.

“It’s important that I look at it from a provincial angle, and that’s what we’re considering right now,” said Andre Marin.

“The government of Ontario…has the ability to issue guidelines and directions to police services on de-escalating conflict. We’re going to have a discussion tomorrow to decide whether or not we should launch an investigation into whether or not those guidelines are sufficient.”

Marin added that his office would also be watching closely to see just how well police co-operate with the SIU in its investigation of Yatim’s death.

He cautioned, however, against a rush to judgment.

“Let’s wait till the SIU does its job,” Marin said. “Certainly, I have a lot of concerns when I read what I’ve read and seen what’s out there on video, but the SIU is in our province the body to get to the bottom of things.”

A makeshift memorial for Yatim now rests at the intersection where the shooting took place. A street pole encircled by burning candles was adorned with white roses and yellow daisies.

Messages left in memory of Yatim read “You were everyone’s son, everyone’s child” and “You asked for help and we failed you.”

Another message taped onto the pole read “You mattered.”

The incident has sparked outrage on social media.

Some called Yatim’s death “senseless and preventable,” while others demanded accountability for police actions.

One woman, who appeared to be related to Yatim, said she could not believe he was dead.

“One time he was with me in the car and saw a spider and you can’t imagine how he freaked out from a simple little spider,” a woman named Mays Ya wrote on Facebook.

“He can’t and won’t harm an ant..he is a kid!!! We should fight for his justice.”

A Facebook profile page under Yatim’s name said he was originally from Syria.

A march has been scheduled in Toronto for Monday evening that calls for justice for Yatim and an end to police violence.

One Facebook memorial page detailing the planned event said its goal was to make sure Yatim’s death triggered change.

“Though he didn’t have much time to live his life, we will leave a legacy out for him and he will in fact have changed the world for the better,” said a message posted by a group called Sammy’s Fight Back for Justice.

With files from Clare Clancy


 
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Toronto police chief says answers will be provided after cops shoot young man multiple times

  1. LOL.. the title of this made me think they were waiting to shoot some poor bastard before they’d answer questions.

  2. Yes it does take time to invent some viable excuse for a probable police murder. But the tape is there. The police weren’t aware of a video being taken. Hard to work around recorded video footage. Of course the SIU will work day and night to white wash the incident like other mysterious incidents so many times before.

    • No invention needed. Did you watch the videos including chasing people off the bus and his waving a knife at police?

      Fact is that this was a good shoot, by the book and no innocent injuries or death. The idiot did not drop the knife was a huge risk. Why take the risk or death or career limiting injuries for a knife welding criminal punk? Cops desrve to be safe to. He could have easily taken a run at cops causing real problems.

      Again, good shoot.

      • Dave, Dave, Dave… You are such a tool. So, let us say you are right. And ordinarily most people would accept that. You left out two critical points. One, why was a Taser fired into the kids dying corpse after nine 9mm bullets slammed into it? Seems like an extremely sick, sadistic thing to do to deliberately do to any harmless creature in its death throes.
        … And, why were the other cops clearly shown on independently recorded video kicking shell casings around? This is the sort of stuff retold in stories about the Gestapo.
        … But such comparisons don’t exist in modern day highly democratically evolved Canada can it? There are answers. So our fearless pompous Chief of Police says.

  3. Canada finally has our own Trayvon Martin

    • Yep. Same result.

      Motto, do not try hurting people and police, they might shoot back.

  4. Funny how they haven’t released the name of the murderous cop to the media….like they would do if ANYONE else was arrested for such a thing (which, of course, the cops won’t do to one of their own). This whole thing, like all the other times the cops murder citizens, stinks to high heaven.
    One day the cops might realize this ‘above the law’ crap, this getting treated ‘special’, is NOT justified.
    This guy should stand TRIAL, not get a paid vacation.
    but, as usual, the cops are more interested in protecting their own than they are in something called ‘justice’. Frankly, I think the Toronto Police deserve every last bit of blowback they get from this, plus a whole lot more.
    Never, EVEr trust a cop. They’re nothing but uniformed thugs.

    • Why? So criminal minds can harass his family? Heck, he is not even arrested. But we hide identities of criminals, rapists and pedophiles all the time.

      Hey, cops are not always right but in this case they were.

      Now if you want to talk Vancouver airport tasering until still the unarmed no crime in process types….yep, that was manslaugter washed over by corrupt government.

      But then I say this as I let the logic and facts overcome blind hate of police. Most cops are good, just the bad ones need firing and possibly jail.

  5. The boy was not 100% innocent. He did have a knife and was uttering threats on a streetcar filled with people. He had his genitals in one hand and a knife in his other hand according to another article I read. He wouldn’t surrender the knife and he was not in his right mind. We honestly don’t know what he would have done if he started driving the streetcar or got off that streetcar armed with a knife and out of control. It bothers me when people act like this guy was 100% innocent. The situation is extremely tragic but the officer was doing his job. What would people have said if Yatim got off the streetcar and started stabbing people or taking hostages? They would say the police are useless and not doing their job.

    • I Just want to be clear with my previous comment above. I am not saying Yatim should have been shot. Perhaps the situation could have been handled differently. The cop hating in Toronto just upsets me. The police don’t have an easy job and they are sometimes forced with making quick decisions to protect the public. Let’s not call the officer a “murderer.” That is wrong.

    • If you watch the video, he was 100% guilty. Yep, lots of people would blame cops if an innocent suffered. Some would even be happy if the cop got a knife wound preventing him from working their career.

      Me, I see the logic on not talking risks with dangerious criminals in the active act of willful crime. To me, a good shoot. No innocent victims, all cops safe, no stray bullets or knife injuries…big win and good job.

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