Coroner dismisses ‘suicide by cop’ theory in Sammy Yatim Inquest

The Coroner in the Inquest into the Death of Sammy Yatim has dismissed the motion brought by James Forcillo seeking to put speculative evidence before the jury on the theory of ‘suicide by cop’. Mr. Forcillo’s motion was brought the day before the inquest was set to begin on Monday, November 14, 2022.

Dr. Cameron determined that the scope of the inquest would not be expanded to explore the concept of “suicide by cop” as was sought by counsel for Mr. Forcillo. Additionally, Dr. Cameron ruled that the cell phone evidence of internet searches done by Sammy Yatim up to 6 months prior to his death was unreliable and he would not permit expert evidence on the ‘suicide by cop’ theory as there was no foundation for it.

Falconers LLP represents Sammy’s mother, Dr. Bahadi, in the inquest proceedings. Dr. Bahadi is pleased with the decision and is hopeful that the inquest will commence soon, so that we can move forward with the important work of looking into the decisions made by police on July 27, 2013, that led to Sammy’s death. It has been almost 10 years since Sammy’s death and Dr. Bahadi is anxious for the inquest to get under way.

Sammy Yatim was shot nine times by then Constable James Forcillo of the Toronto Police Service while onboard a TTC streetcar on July 27, 2013. Sammy was only 18 years old. The shooting was investigated by the Special Investigations Unit (“SIU”) which later laid criminal charges against Forcillo. Forcillo was ultimately found guilty of attempted murder in 2016.

Related Material:
Yatim Motion Decision – Dr. Cameron – March 29, 2023

Related Postings: – July 10, 2018 – June 1, 2018 – July 29, 2016

Media Coverage:
Tyler Griffin, CBC News (March 30, 2023) – “Coroner rules against officer’s ‘suicide by cop’ theory for Sammy Yatim inquest”

Wendy Gillis, The Toronto Star (March 30, 2023) – “Coroner rejects Toronto cop’s 11th-hour theory Sammy Yatim died in ‘suicide by cop’”

Molly Hayes, The Globe and Mail (March 30, 2023) – “Coroner rules against Toronto officer’s ‘suicide by cop’ theory for Sammy Yatim Inquest”

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