National News

Sammy Yatim's father haunted by son's death

By The Canadian Press

TORONTO - The father of an 18-year-old man who was fatally shot by police one year ago says the questions surrounding his son's death continue to haunt him.

Nabil Yatim released a statement today about the death of his son Sammy, who was shot by police on an empty streetcar in downtown Toronto.

The shooting was captured on surveillance and cellphone videos, and sparked a public outcry that led to marches in the streets of Toronto.

Nine shots could be heard on the videos following police shouts for Sammy Yatim to drop a small fold-up knife he was carrying.

Second-degree murder charges were laid against a police officer.

In his statement, Nabil Yatim says "no parent should have to live through what (he has) endured."

"Why was he shot so many times? Why was he tasered as he lay dying on the floor of that streetcar? These questions continue to haunt me," the statement said.

In a lawsuit filed with Ontario Superior Court last October, Yatim’s mother and sister are seeking more than $7 million from the subject officer, the police services board and two other officers.

No statement of defence has been filed in the lawsuit, which claims that an officer fired at Yatim in the early hours of July 27, 2013. At the time, Yatim was alone on the streetcar, which was surrounded by about 20 officers.

The allegations contained in the lawsuit have not been proven in court.

Nabil Yatim says his family is still suffering.

"I miss him every minute of the day. I will do everything in my power to help create change in how the police respond to these situations," he says.

A report released this week by a former Supreme Court of Canada justice into the use of lethal force by Toronto police, sparked by the Yatim shooting, made 84 sweeping recommendations which, if implemented, would mean far more training and support for officers dealing with those in crisis.

(Newstalk 1010)

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