July 31, 2013
Playing the race and religion card
In the protest march, dozens of Islamists and leftists portrayed Sammy Yatim as a victim of the evil Christian West
“You’re a f----n p---y.” Four words believed to be uttered by Sammy Yatim that possibly cost him his life.
We don’t know the whole story, and only the findings of the SIU will determine the truth. However, unlike previous police shootings, we know far more thanks to a number of videos from various angles and accompanying audio.
We know that an 18-year old youth holding a three-inch knife in an empty TTC streetcar died because of a police officer’s decision to shoot him, not once or twice, but nine times.
Defenders of the police action say, if only he had complied with the police officer’s order to “Drop the knife, now,” Sammy Yatim would be alive today. They have a valid point.
In the video, Yatim taunts the officer, literally daring him to “come get me,” as if in a high school fistfight. Seconds later he is mortally wounded. The officer it seems took Sammy up on his dare.
Perhaps the officer was genuinely feeling threatened, but he seems to be the only one who felt this way considering the fact there were 22 other officers surrounding the TTC streetcar. And some were standing around with their arms folded.
The video of the shooting shows that after the verbal exchange, Sammy raised both his arms in a surrender-type movement. Then as another officer runs around the back of the streetcar, Sammy holds the knife up for him to see. This is when the officer in question yells at Sammy: “If you take one step in this direction with that foot … [inaudible] die.”
Moments later, Yatim is hit by three bullets and falls to the floor.
Crime specialist Ross McLean — a former police officer — told the Sun’s Joe Warmington that in “the final six shots, it appears the officer has now levelled the gun, as opposed to the angled up position of his arm previously, possibly indicating the final shots were fired at the suspect on the floor of the streetcar.”
The video shows that seconds later, as he lay mortally wounded on the floor, a police officer tasered Sammy Yatim. Why would anyone taser a person hit by nine bullets. Was it an afterthought? Why was it not the weapon of first choice?
As if the tragedy of the shooting was not enough for the city, some are trying to bring a racial and religious tone to the story.
Bikram Lamba, a prominent figure in the Sikh community whipped up a storm on Facebook when he described Yatim as a “crazed young Islamic man” whose “family had arrived from the violent Islamic nation of Syria a few years ago.”
The fact Sammy Yatim and his family have a Christian-Syrian heritage was of little consequence. For many, Sammy’s Arabic last name was a license to depict him as a crazy Muslim.
Lamba was not the only one depicting Yatim as a Muslim.
In the protest march on Monday, there were dozens of Islamists and leftists portraying Sammy Yatim as a victim of the evil Christian West.
Remember the group that disrupted last year’s Remembrance Day ceremonies? Well, they were there too, shouting slogans that “Toronto Cops are Murderers.” Some of the Islamists marching on the street aggressively jostled me, yelling, “Are you happy a Muslim boy has been killed?”
I am sure the fact Sammy turned out to be a Christian will be disappointing to both sides who wish to use the politics of race and religion to pursue their own agendas — that don’t deserve the time of day.