Sammy Yatim's mom shocked over James Forcillo's quick parole
Sam Pazzano Courts Bureau
August 15, 2019
August 15, 2019 8:43 PM EDT
James Forcillo leaves 361 University Courthouse with his wife Irina Forcillo on Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015.Craig Robertson / Toronto Sun
The mother of police shooting victim Sammy Yatim was “shocked” that her son’s killer — former Toronto police officer James Forcillo — was granted day parole after serving 21 months of his six-year sentence.
“She is shocked that James Forcillo got day parole so early,” said family spokesman Joseph Nazar on behalf of mother Dr. Sahar Bahadi on Thursday.
“She knew nothing about this parole hearing and no one from the Yatim family attended. No one read a victim impact statement,” said Nazar.
“If they attended, the family would have opposed Forcillo’s release.”
The Parole Board decided Forcillo will live at a halfway house with overnight privileges for the next six months.
He was ordered to undergo psychological counselling and was prohibited from contacting the Yatim family.
The Toronto Star reported that Forcillo took responsibility for his shooting, admitted it was unjustified and apologized in a letter to the Yatim family.
“It’s a self-serving statement to facilitate his release,” said Yatim family lawyer Ed Upenieks in an interview.
“At no stage during the trial or sentencing, did Forcillo express any remorse.
“I doubt very much that he’d be able to look the Yatim family in the eyes and apologize. It wouldn’t have been sincere,” said Upenieks. “I heard he wrote the family a letter, but if he doesn’t send it, it’s not a letter.”
Upenieks said if the Yatim family had attended, the result “would have been different.
“They were given no notice of this hearing. They could have expressed exactly how they feel — shocked and disappointed,” said Upenieks.
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Forcillo, 36, was acquitted of second-degree murder but convicted of attempted murder in 2016 for the July 2013 shooting of the knife-wielding 18-year-old as he stood alone inside an empty downtown streetcar.
Forcillo has been in custody since November 2017 when he was caught violating his bail conditions by living in an apartment with his fiance, instead of at his ex-in-laws’ home.
Ontario’s top court dismissed Forcillo’s appeal last year, ruling he took “unnecessary and excessive” action during the confrontation
Forcillo fired two separate volleys of shots at Yatim — the first delivering a fatal heart shot.
The Ontario Court of Appeal decided the second volley was “clearly unnecessary and excessive” against the dying teen laying on the streetcar floor.
A coroner’s inquest has been called into the police shooting but no date has yet been set.