Anyone with a computer, television, or smartphone could have seen video of Sammy Yatim being fatally shot by a Toronto police officer. Footage recorded by a bystander was available for public consumption on YouTube and through local media. So, was a fair trial by an impartial jury possible?
The answer is yes, according to a new Forum Research poll.
The random sampling of public opinion among 546 Toronto adults found that about half (49 per cent) didn’t think the videos unfairly swayed the jury or precluded a fair trial.
Just over a quarter (26 per cent) thought the videos and the publicity surrounding the case made a fair trial impossible.
The same amount (26 per cent) had no opinion.
“Half the city thinks Constable Forcillo was able to get an unbiased jury, and those who don’t think so are his supporters, which is testament to the power of the contents of those videos,” said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.
Video showing police firing at Yatim was posted on YouTube on the night of the fatal shooting streetcar shooting in July 2013, and was later picked up by local media.
Const. James Forcillo has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and attempted murder in the death of Yatim.
Jurors began deliberating on Wednesday.