A Toronto police officer has been charged with second-degree murder in the controversial shooting death of teenager Sammy Yatim.
Yatim was shot nine times and then tasered after he brandished a knife on Toronto public transit.
The violent incident was caught on amateur video and went viral, sparking demands for justice by the community and Yatim's family.
Toronto police's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) put out a press release Monday saying that the shooter, Const. James Forcillo, was charged with murder.
“The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has reasonable grounds to believe that a Toronto Police Service (TPS) officer committed a criminal offence in relation to the shooting death of 18-year-old Sammy Adib Yatim in July of 2013,” the press release stated.
Forcillo had spent six years on the police force, mostly working security at a downtown courthouse.
He is only the seventh on-duty officer to be charged by the SIU since its creation in 1990. None have ever been convicted of murder.
A second-degree murder conviction carries a minimum life sentence with a chance of parole.
President of the Toronto Police Association, Mike McCormack, expressed disappointment at the charges.
“Although we’re disappointed in the charges, we’re confident in the [judicial] process and as it’s before the courts, we’re not going to make any more comments,” he said.