A Toronto police officer has been found guilty of attempted murder in the shooting death of a teen on an empty streetcar.
Const. James Forcillo was cleared of the more serious charge of second-degree murder in the death of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim in July 2013.
Forcillo, 32, had pleaded not guilty to both charges in the shooting that was captured on cellphone videos and went viral online, sparking public outrage.
Crown prosecutors had argued Forcillo’s actions weren’t necessary or reasonable, while his lawyer called those actions justified and carried out in self-defence.
The trial heard that Yatim had consumed ecstasy at some point before boarding a streetcar where he exposed himself and pulled out a small knife, sparking a panicked exodus.
Forcillo testified Yatim seemed completely unafraid and refused his commands to drop the knife. The officer told the court he believed the teen was about to come off the streetcar to attack him, which was why he fired his gun.