At the centre of the shooting controversy is Constable James Forcillo, a married father of two who is “devastated” by what transpired the July night that left Sammy Yatim dead, according to the head of the Toronto Police Association, Mike McCormack.
Const. Forcillo, who served for six years, was a court security officer before becoming a patrol officer. Staff Inspector Cory Bockus, who works in court services, would not comment on the case, and said she would be “surprised if any other court officer would provide information.”
Toronto Police Services referred all questions about Const. Forcillo, who appears to have attended high school in Toronto and has family in Quebec, to the Special Investigations Unit, which is handling the probe. An aunt in Montreal, Victoria Forcillo, called her nephew “a good kid” but said the family had a falling out regarding financial issues, so she has not seen him since his mother’s funeral in 2001.
A posting on a website for a Toronto gym co-founded by a James Forcillo, who was in Grade 12 at William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute in 1999, says he was a football player who wore jersey No. 99 and won the outstanding graduating player award.
“He started lifting weights 2 years ago at a weight of 140 pounds, today he tips the scale at 220 pounds while maintaining a bodyfat percentage of 12%,” a bio explains, adding that “James” could bench press 425 pounds.
The website says James planned to study law enforcement, perhaps at Seneca College or Humber College, the next fall.
A search of records posted online by the Ontario Civilian Police Commission, which hears appeals of police disciplinary penalties, turned up no cases involving Constable Forcillo.
With a report from Cynthia McQueen