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'Six years represents justice for Sammy' Yatim's mother

By Sam Pazzano, Toronto Sun

Sahar Bahadi, mother of Sammy Yatim, outside of Toronto Superior Court of Justice Courthouse at 361 University Avenue after the sentencing of Const. James Forcillo in Toronto, Ont. on Thursday July 28, 2016. Forcillo was sentenced to six years in prison for the shooting death of her son.  Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network

Sahar Bahadi, mother of Sammy Yatim, outside of Toronto Superior Court of Justice Courthouse at 361 University Avenue after the sentencing of Const. James Forcillo in Toronto, Ont. on Thursday July 28, 2016. Forcillo was sentenced to six years in prison for the shooting death of her son. Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun/Postmedia Network

Sammy Yatim’s devastated parents vowed to put the shattered pieces of their lives together after their son’s killer was sentenced Thursday.

And they expressed their hopes that son Sammy hasn’t died in vain as police, politicians and the public join forces to de-escalate confrontations without gunfire.

“It has been a long, hellish journey for us, We hope to start a new journey of closure, healing,” said distraught dad, Nabil “Bill” Yatim.

Sammy’s mom Sahar Bahadi said she was thankful for Justice Edward Then’s sentence.

“Six years represents justice for Sammy,” she said in a whisper of a voice reflecting her heartbreak. “My family will now attempt to put the pieces of our life back together.”

Both expressed their deep gratitude to Canadians whose support buoyed their spirits since July 27, 2013, when their troubled, knife-wielding 18-year-old son was gunned down by Const. James Forcillo on an empty downtown Toronto streetcar.

“(Forcillo) destroyed our lives, our family. Sammy was a good boy. He wasn’t the boy you saw on a few minutes of video on that streetcar. He was a big part of our family,” said the mother, who’s a physician.

“Sammy will never be coming back and I miss my son dearly.”

Yatim’s father said he hopes no family “will have to suffer what we have.

“No time is good enough. A hundred years would not bring our son back,” he said.

The 18-year-old was fatally shot three years ago this past Wednesday and his father spent the third anniversary at home, agonizing alone over what transpired.

“I stared at the wall, thinking about Sammy, what if this happened instead, so we don’t have to be here,” he said. “I have a great faith in the justice system.”

“He was a kind, nice beautiful talent young boy. He never made it to manhood yet,” said Yatim.

Bahadi said she is sad all the time.

“I have this screaming bottled up inside me,” she said. “I visit his gravesite all the time.”

Yatim was dismayed by the prospect that Forcillo may be granted bail pending appeal as early as Friday morning.

“I don’t want to see a criminal on the street, but this is the system we have,” he said.

“What he did was wrong and he should have admitted it.”

The family hopes police, the public and politicians heed the cry for reforms in defusing volatile situations between police and disturbed people.

“Some people should be more careful on the streets, both police and public should work hand in hand and learn de-escalation techniques,” said Yatim. “Sammy will live again if changes happen.”

“What happened (Thursday) is Justice Then spoke out on the issues of training, de-escalation and it reflects where we are in society,” said Julian Falconer, Bahadi’s civil lawyer.

“Good policing should be reinforced. We should stop seeing these things as us against the police. Good police officers should work with the community against bad policing.

“Bad policing was sentenced (Thursday). We’re still in the us against them and that’s unfortunate.”

spazzano@postmedia.com