- John GerretsenAttorney General of Ontario
- Ian ScottDirector, Special Investigations Unit (SIU)
Justice for Sammy Yatim: Charge the Police Officer Responsible
In the early hours of Saturday, July 27, 2013, Sammy Yatim was shot dead by a Toronto Police officer as the 18-year old man stood alone in a stationary TTC street car with a 3-inch knife in his hands. His death has caused an uproar in the community and oridnary people are asking, "Why did Sammy Yatim have to be shot dead by the Police?"
In the last 25 years, a number of people have been shot dead by the Toronto Police who claim to be acting within the law. After every such tragedy, inquiries and inquests are held that make recommendations, but it seems none of these policies and procedures have succeeded in preventing the death of men and women who need help, not harm.
In 1996, a medical student Edmund Yu was shot dead as he sat alone in the back seat of a TTC street car, armed only with a tiny hammer.
Now, Sammy Yatim has been killed by a police officer firing not one or two, but nine bullets and all within a few minutes of his first encounter with the young man who was alone inside a stationary TTC street car.
An inquiry is taking place. However, we fear this inquiry too will end up like earlier such exercises and no will be found responsible for the death of this young troubled man who had all his life ahead of him.
If the police constable who shot Sammy Yatim dead is not charged, once more we will send a message to ordinary citizens that Police forces are above the law.
For the good of communities and for better civilian-police relations, let a court decide whether any laws were broken in the death of Sammy Yatim.
This petition is not to bring disrepute to the fine men and women who serve in the Toronto Police and who we consider the world's finest police force.
Having said that we feel the SIU and the AG of Ontario should intervene in the interest of justice and also to assure the citizenery who feel they have no voice in this matter.
We acknowledge that despite the many videos, we do not know the entire story. However, based on the video and the reaction by Police Chef Bill Blair and Police Chair Alok Mukherjee, where they immediately suspended the officer in question, we feel there is enough evidence for us to conclude that something awfully wrong happenned that resulted in the death of Sammy Yatim.
In view of the above, we feel if an apporpriate charge is not filed against the police constable who caused the death, the citizenry will lose confidence in the legal system and the men and women who have been entrusted to deliver justice.
- Attorney General of Ontario
- Director, Special Investigations Unit (SIU)
Charge the Police Officer Responsible for the Shooting Death of Sammy Yatim
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