WATCH: James Forcillo's appeals denied
Ontario's top court has dismissed the appeal of a Toronto police officer who was convicted of attempted murder in the 2013 shooting death of a troubled teen.
Const. James Forcillo fired two separate volleys at Sammy Yatim, an 18-year-old who was wielding a small knife on an empty streetcar.
Forcillo was convicted of attempted murder related to the second volley, but was acquitted of the more serious charge of second-degree murder at his 2016 trial.
He was sentenced to six years behind bars, a year more than the mandatory minimum.
The officer contested the guilty verdict, asking the appeal court to substitute a not-guilty verdict or order a new trial.
Forcillo argued the trial judge improperly excluded evidence on Yatim's state of mind, and wrongly instructed the jury to consider the two volleys of gunfire as separate incidents.
The Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed Forcillo's appeal of his conviction in its decision today.
Julian Falconer, the lawyer representing Sammy Yatim's mother, Sehar Behadi, in the $8-million civil suit, says Monday's decision is not a cause for celebration.
"It continues to be a real struggle for Sammy's mother. Every step of the way is one more reminder of the tragic circumstances that she lost her son in."
Falconer added that he believes today's decision shows there's been 'a seizmic shift' in how the public views bad policing.
"What I think this represents is an important day for justice. The message is loud and clear that [just] because you're a police officer doesn't mean we're going to hold you to a different standard," he said.
"Whether we're talking about mandatory minimum sentence or we're talking about instructions to jury, you're going to be - if you've engaged in bad policing - held to the same standard any member of the public would be."