Streetcar Shooting Leads to Anti-Police Protest in Toronto (Video)

Tuesday, 30 Jul 2013 08:30 AM

By Michael Mullins

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The streetcar shooting of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim two days earlier in Toronto gave way to a large-scale protest march on Monday against police.

A video of the shooting incident shows authorities standing outside the front entrance of the Toronto streetcar with guns pointed at Yatim, who is standing several feet behind the driver's seat, reportedly with a knife in his hand.

On the video, the officer repeatedly instructs Yatim to drop a knife, followed by the voice of teenager responding with a string of obscenities.

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Moments before the officer opens fire on Yatim, the 18-year-old inches closer to the exit, as the officer screams, "Drop your knife. Drop it!"

Seconds later, the officer, who is standing several feet outside the bus entrance, fires three shots at Yatim, pauses, and then fires six more at the teen who at this point has dropped out of camera view.

The officer, who has yet to be identified, has been suspended with pay while investigators examine the circumstances around the shooting, Canada's CBC News reported.

Protestors, which included member of Yatim's family which immigrated to Canada five years earlier from Syria, claimed the video demonstrated that "excessive" force had been used by police during the fatal encounter.

Shouts of "We want justice!" and "Shame!" could be heard among the protestors as they passed by police heading toward the intersection where Yatim was shot dead, CBC News reports.

"I think something went wrong here, but I guess we're just going to have to wait and see," protestor Marco Chevalier told CBC News. "But in the meantime, this family has lost a son [and] a brother."

"The police have a bad attitude, it needs to be fixed," software developer Henrik Bechmann told CBC News while taking part in the protest.

In addition to the protest, Yatim's younger sister Sarah launched a Facebook page to bring attention to the shooting, titled, "Sammy's Fight Back for Justice."

Yatim's father reportedly refused to give an interview about the shooting, telling reporters that the family intended to hire an attorney.

In a news conference following the shooting, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair assured Torontonians that he sought answers to the shooting and that he was in the process of reaching out to the family, CBC News reported.

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"As a father, I can only image their terrible grief and their need for answers," Blair told reporters at the news conference.



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