Yatim Inquest Jury Recommendations Focus on Monitoring of Police to Ensure Community Safety

Today, the jury delivered their verdict in the Inquest into the Death of Sammy Yatim.

The Inquest sat from January 12 to January 30, 2024, and heard evidence from 12 witnesses including:

  • Sahar Bahadi- Sammy’s mother;
  • Lisa Crooker – the Toronto Police Service Superintendent in charge of hiring and recruiting;
  • Paula Di Nota – who provided evidence on stress, health and police behaviour;
  • Robert Monteiro – involved in training at the Toronto Police Service college;
  • Peter Rampat – who provided evidence on training provided at the Ontario Police College;
  • Ivy Nanayakkara- the civilian manager of the Toronto Police Service Wellness Unit, who provided evidence on the supports available to police officers;
  • Jennifer Chambers – of the Empowerment Council;
  • Mike Federico – former Deputy Chief of the Toronto Police Service; and
  • Members of the Toronto Police Service who interacted with Sammy Yatim, including James Forcillo.

The jury heard from Sammy’s family of the profound and lasting impact that his death has had on them. The jury also heard evidence that the systems in place at the time of Sammy’s death were insufficient to ensure that officers were properly equipped for interacting with people with lived experience.

In the years following Sammy’s death, the circumstances of his death have spurred change within policing, specifically in respect of enhanced training and monitoring of officers.

Unfortunately, these changes came too late to save Sammy’s life in July 2013. To ensure that we avoid future deaths in the future, they jury made 63 recommendations focusing on the oversight and monitoring of officers and their behaviour. The recommendations also included the need for immediate and ongoing financial and mental health supports for family members, like Sammy’s, who have had a loved one die or be seriously injured in a police interaction.

Falconers LLP partner Asha James, and associate Shelby Percival were honoured to represent Sammy’s mother Dr. Sahar Bahadi in this Inquest. It is the hope of Dr. Bahadi that police officer training continues to be reviewed and updated based on best practices in order to ensure officers make the best decisions possible when interacting with the public. Zero deaths in the future should be the goal of every police service in the province of Ontario.

Related Documents: 

Media Coverage:

Emily Fagan, The Toronto Star (Feb. 1, 2024) – “Police need systemic review of how they track risky officers like Forcillo, Yatim inquest jury says in long-awaited verdict” 

Muriel Draaisma, CBC News (Feb. 1, 2024) – “Sammy Yatim’s shooting death by former Toronto police officer a homicide, coroner’s inquest finds”

The Canadian Press, CP24 (Feb. 1, 2024) – “Jurors in coroner’s inquest into death of Sammy Yatim issue 63 recommendations” 

CTV News Toronto (Feb. 1, 2024) – “Sammy Yatim inquest: 63 recommendations issued by jurors” 

John Marchesan, CityNews Toronto (Feb. 1, 2024) – “Jurors at Sammy Yatim inquest rule teen’s death a homicide, issue 63 recommendations”

Michele Mandel, The Toronto Sun (Jan. 30, 2024) – “Mandel: Jury considers ways to prevent another Sammy Yatim shooting”

Previous Postings:

https://falconers.ca/inquest-into-the-death-of-sammy-yatim-to-begin-monday/ – November 11, 2022
https://falconers.ca/toronto-constable-forcillo-who-shot-sammy-yatim-wants-supreme-court-of-canada-to-hear-case/ – July 10, 2018
https://falconers.ca/james-forcillo-cop-who-killed-sammy-yatim-admits-perjury-gets-6-more-months-in-jail/ – June 1, 2018
https://falconers.ca/forcillo-sentencing/ – July 29, 2016

Related Posts