TORONTO – A Toronto police officer charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim has been allowed to return to work following a seven-month suspension.
A report in the Toronto Sun says Chief Bill Blair made the decision a few months ago to permit Constable James Forcillo to go back to work in an administrative role with Crime Stoppers.
The officer is currently involved in a preliminary hearing to determine if there’s enough evidence to go to trial.
Yatim was shot and killed on an empty streetcar on Dundas Street West near Bathurst Street on July 27.
The incident was captured on surveillance and cellphone video on which nine shots can be heard following shouts for the 18-year-old Yatim to drop a knife.
Toronto police spokesperson Meaghan Gray told the newspaper Chief Blair made the decision to lift Forcillo’s suspension in February and that he “is not in uniform.”
Gray also said it’s not unusual for suspended officers to return to work in a reduced role while they face criminal charges.
Forcillo, who is free on $510,000 bail, has been suspended with pay since the shooting investigation began last year.
Forcillo’s preliminary hearing is scheduled to run through May 9 and then continue from June 16 to 20.