Christie Blatchford of the National Post is uneasy about the decision yesterday of Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit to charge Constable James Forcillo with second-degree murder for the shooting of Sammy Yatim.
Warming up on the front page, she notes that charging the “right officer” doesn’t qualify as “a win for justice.” Her peeve, however, isn’t about an obsequious mob about to hang a man because the SIU decided that there was “reasonable grounds” to lay the charge. It seems it’s the annoying source of those “reasonable grounds”—a 139-second YouTube video—that annoys Ms. Blatchford.
“Much of the tragic standoff was caught on video, which in the modern fashion was promptly posted on YouTube and since viewed, according to CBC News, more than a million times.
“That video, as such video does, made instant experts — on everything from police use-of-force tactics to how officers should deal with the emotionally disturbed — of almost everyone who viewed it.”
Actually, the entire standoff, its violent resolution, and listless follow-up was caught in a steady, unimpeded, uninterrupted film record—thanks to a competent, rather brave Ontarian who simply put online what he was witnessing and, thereby, compelled justice officials and other citizens to do their duty. Spin can’t turn people away from what they’re seeing.
For a glorious moment in Toronto, what was in “fashion” was good citizenship.