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Sammy Yatim shooting video puts Toronto police on defensive

New security video shows police fatally shooting 18-year-old Sammy Yatim nine times, then using Taser, during confrontation.

Sammy yatim marchEnlarge
Family, friends and supporters of slain teenager Sammy Yatim march through downtown Toronto on July 29, 2013. (Facebook)

New video surfaced on Tuesday of Toronto police shooting a knife-wielding teenager nine times, then using a Taser on him, after a tragic weekend confrontation.

Sammy Yatim, 18, held officers at bay after he reportedly exposed himself and then ordered everyone off a Toronto streetcar late Saturday.

Global News first acquired security camera footage of the shooting that killed the teen and spawned outrage, questions and accusations of police brutality across Canada.

In the new video, Yatim paces near the streetcar's entrance before suddenly falling to the floor as a swarm of police descend upon him.

Police fired three shots initially, then six more seconds later before deploying the Taser, The Globe and Mail reported.

Ex-Toronto cop Ross McLean, now a security consultant, told the newspaper that police have very difficult questions to answer about their use of force.

“You’re able to see that the first three shots felled the young man,” McLean said. “He certainly didn’t look like he was going to spring to his feet and dash 20 yards and stick somebody.”

Cellphone video surfaced shortly after the shooting, and it quickly spread online. Shocked residents marched in downtown Toronto on Monday.

Another protest march is planned for Aug. 13, the same day as a Toronto Police Services board meeting, a Facebook group says.

Yatim was a Syrian immigrant planning to attend college this fall.

Friends told Toronto media they didn't believe he was suffering from any mental illnesses.

A family representative questioned police tactics in the shooting; however, Joseph Nazar said they didn't want to judge the whole force on the actions of one member.

“[Yatim] was alone on the streetcar. This should be handled differently,” Nazar said outside the family home on Tuesday.

Yet, he added: “If one [officer] makes a mistake we’re not going to blame the whole police force for one police officer,” he said, CTV News reported.

Police have suspended one officer, with pay, pending an independent investigation.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/canada/130730/sammy-yatim-shooting-video-toronto-police-protest