Preliminary hearing starts for cop charged in Sammy Yatim shooting

Toronto Police Const. James Forcillo, with wife Irini, leaves Old City Hall in Toronto on April 22,...

Toronto Police Const. James Forcillo, with wife Irini, leaves Old City Hall in Toronto on April 22, 2014 after a preliminary hearing into the shooting death of Sammy Yatim aboard a TTC streetcar last July. (Stan Behal/QMI Agency)

Chris Doucette, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:15 PM ET

TORONTO -- A cop who stands accused of murder for allegedly firing nine shots at a knife-wielding teen on a streetcar last summer appeared relaxed as his preliminary hearing got underway Tuesday.

Const. James Forcillo is poised to become the first Toronto Police officer to stand trial for an on-duty murder charge stemming from the death of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim -- a shooting that sparked public outcry -- but his lawyer cautioned people not to rush to judgment.

"There's another side to this story which the public has yet to hear," Peter Brauti said on the steps of Old City Hall Tuesday. "And without going into the evidence, I can tell you that some of the conduct that took place on that streetcar in that evening, in relation to Mr. Yatim, is quite shocking.

"And I have a feeling it's going to change a lot of people's minds," he added.

While details of the July 27, 2013, shooting have begun to emerge at the preliminary hearing, evidence from the proceeding is protected by a publication ban.

The 14 Division officer, who joined the service seven years ago, is suspended from duty with pay pending the outcome of his charge.

The preliminary hearing, which will determine if Forcillo should stand trial, continues Wednesday.

chris.doucette@sunmedia.ca


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