This don't seem to be going swimmingly for Const. James Forcillo in his trial for the the July, 2013 shooting death of Sammy Yatim. When Forcillo opened fire, Yatim was standing still near the driver's seat of an empty TTC streetcar. The officer was standing at the curb a good ten feet away.
At no point did Yatim even move into the streetcar stairwell. There was no indication he was going to attack Forcillo or any of the other police officers present. Forcillo pulls his gun and a good 35-seconds elapse before the constable empties his 9-round service automatic, instantly downing Yatim who collapsed into the aisle of the streetcar.
You or I or anybody can do a lot of things in 35-seconds. We can puzzle things through, evaluate situations, come to reasoned conclusions.
Forcillo's defence counsel, Peter Brauti, sought to gloss over the epic 35-second interval thusly:
“We’ve got to consider the individual that we’re dealing with, we’ve got to consider the environment we’re in, we’ve got to consider the nature of the call, we’ve got to consider the use of force options that we have, we have to consider which ones are the most appropriate to use at the time . . .
“I can keep going, but the problem is that sometimes we only have 30 seconds, 50 seconds to think about all of those different things,” Brauti said.
The big problem with the 'heat of the moment' argument is that there was no imminent threat from Yatim. He never left the aisle of the streetcar. He was just standing there - until Forcillo opened up. Yatim went down with the first shot. The onboard bus video shows that. Forcillo just kept on firing, emptying his sidearm into the unmoving body.
It's hard to see this "only 30 seconds" defence holding up. The reason it was only 30 seconds is because that's how long Forcillo and Yatim stood still before Forcillo chose to open fire.
My guess is that Brauti wants to plea this thing down but the Crown won't accept anything less than 2nd degree murder. It's hard to see the prosecution losing this one.