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Gender: Male
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
Home country: Canada
Current location: Toronto, Ontario
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 04:34 PM
Number of posts: 3,014

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Forcillo had many alternatives to shooting but didn’t use them: Crown expert

The Toronto Star talks about the ongoing Forcillo trial over the shooting of Sammy Yatim:

The night Sammy Yatim was shot dead on an empty streetcar by Const. James Forcillo could have gone differently if Forcillo and other officers at the scene had used any of several alternatives to lethal force, including de-escalating the situation, a Crown expert on police use-of-force tactics testified Wednesday.

The jury has seen and heard that a 50-second standoff took place with Forcillo, gun drawn, repeatedly commanding 18-year-old Yatim to drop the four-inch knife he held in his right hand. Forcillo finally said: if you take a step forward you will be shot.

On Wednesday, Robert Warshaw, a U.S.-based former police chief, testified that Forcillo had many alternatives to using lethal force at the time he fired the first three shots.

“Officer Forcillo took a position facing Mr. Yatim and, in my judgment, made no effort to have any interaction with Mr. Yatim for the purposes of creating a dialogue, for the purposes of learning anything that was on this young man’s mind,” said Warshaw, who has been appointed by the federal government to reform several American police departments with problems in excessive use of force.

“All of those opportunities to de-escalate the situation just never materialized. There was no effort.”

“There was no single asset to Officer Forcillo that was more valuable than time,” he said. Yatim was already contained on the streetcar and posed no risk to others, and neither said nor did anything to suggest he would imminently attack, Warshaw said.

The more time that elapsed, the more options Forcillo would have had to choose from — including access to a Taser or the resources of the Emergency Task Force, he said.

“The more officers that arrived, the greater the opportunity for police to come up with a de-escalation plan or a tactical plan,” Warshaw said. “There was no action plan, there was no tactical thinking, no co-ordinated effort as far as I could see,” he said.

Read the full article here: http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2015/11/18/officer-forcillo-had-many-alternatives-to-shooting-sammy-yatim-but-didnt-use-them-crown-expert-testifies.html

My white neighbor thought I was breaking into my own apartment. Nineteen cops showed up.

From the Washington Post, columnist Fay Wells tells a story:

The place I call home no longer feels safe.

On Sept. 6, I locked myself out of my apartment in Santa Monica, Calif. I was in a rush to get to my weekly soccer game, so I decided to go enjoy the game and deal with the lock afterward.

A few hours and a visit from a locksmith later, I was inside my apartment and slipping off my shoes when I heard a man’s voice and what sounded like a small dog whimpering outside, near my front window. I imagined a loiterer and opened the door to move him along. I was surprised to see a large dog halfway up the staircase to my door. I stepped back inside, closed the door and locked it.

I heard barking. I approached my front window and loudly asked what was going on. Peering through my blinds, I saw a gun. A man stood at the bottom of the stairs, pointing it at me. I stepped back and heard: “Come outside with your hands up.” I thought: This man has a gun and will kill me if I don’t come outside. At the same time, I thought: I’ve heard this line from policemen in movies. Although he didn’t identify himself, perhaps he’s an officer.

I left my apartment in my socks, shorts and a light jacket, my hands in the air. “What’s going on?” I asked again. Two police officers had guns trained on me. They shouted: “Who’s in there with you? How many of you are there?”

After the officers and dog exited my “cleared” apartment, I was allowed back inside to speak with some of them. They asked me why I hadn’t come outside shouting, “I live here.” I told them it didn’t make sense to walk out of my own apartment proclaiming my residence when I didn’t even know what was going on. I also reminded them that they had guns pointed at me. Shouting at anyone with a gun doesn’t seem like a wise decision.

I had so many questions. Why hadn’t they announced themselves? Why had they pointed guns at me? Why had they refused to answer when I asked repeatedly what was going on? Was it protocol to send more than a dozen cops to a suspected burglary? Why hadn’t anyone asked for my ID or accepted it, especially after I’d offered it? If I hadn’t heard the dog, would I have opened the door to a gun in my face? “Maybe,” they answered.

Read the whole article here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/11/18/my-white-neighbor-thought-i-was-breaking-into-my-own-apartment-nineteen-cops-showed-up/

And please, for the love of all that is good in this world, do -not- read the comments. I accidentally skimmed a few, and now I hate everything.
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