LETTER: Toronto could have done better

In regard to the recent Toronto shooting of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim...

In regard to the recent Toronto shooting of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim: After reading the news story and reviewing the videos that were made public, I came to the conclusion that the Toronto police officers that were involved went way overboard.

They seemed to have ignored important aspects of the National Use of Force Framework.

The suspect was at the “Active Resistant” level, meaning he was not physically assaulting the officers, but actively resisted commands given by the officers by refusing to comply with the commands/directions given.

At that point no one, including the officers, were in danger, as the suspect did not attempt to get off the bus. He was standing by the driver’s seat and cursing at the officers.

At this level the officers should have only utilized intermediate weapons (i.e. OC spray, baton, taser) along with continued tactical communications.

The officers should have also relied on their Crisis Intervention and De-escalations skills to disarm and control the suspect.

None of the above happened.  Rather than following their Force Response Options training, the officers escalated right to the sixth level: lethal force.


Lee Hanlon,