NEWS
10/20/2015 11:09 EDT | Updated 10/20/2016 01:12 EDT

Opening arguments begin in trial for Toronto cop who shot teen on streetcar

TORONTO — The presiding judge in the trial of a Toronto police officer charged in the shooting death of a teenager on a streetcar has told the jury they must hear the evidence with an open mind.

Justice Edward Then says jurors at Const. James Forcillo's trial must decide the case by a reasonable assessment of the evidence, not by an emotional reaction to it.

Forcillo is charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder in the death of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

Crown and defence lawyers are expected to make their opening statements to the jury today.

Yatim was shot and killed on an empty streetcar on July 27, 2013 — an incident captured on surveillance and cellphone videos in which nine shots can be heard following shouted commands to drop a knife.

Forcillo, who has been free on bail, has been working at Toronto Crimestoppers in an administrative role.

His lawyer has said his client is eager to tell his side of the story at trial.

The Canadian Press