Police sergeant who Tasered Sammy Yatim faces misconduct charge

The police sergeant who Tasered 18-year-old Sammy Yatim as he lay dying of gunshot wounds on the floor of a Toronto streetcar is facing a police misconduct charge, nearly four years after the teen's death.

The Office of the Independent Police Review Director (OIPRD) recommended the charge against Sgt. Dusan Dan Pravica in connection with the incident on July 27, 2013. Pravica had entered the streetcar telling Yatim — who had already been shot nine times by fellow officer Const. James Forcillo — to "drop the knife."

Pravica wrote in his police notes from that night that Yatim tried to stand up and come forward after being shot, Crown prosecutor Milan Rupic pointed out in October 2015. Most accounts agreed Yatim had remained still on the floor of the streetcar.

Passengers had fled the streetcar earlier, after Yatim exposed himself and showed the knife. 

It is now up to the police services board, a civilian oversight body, to sign off on laying the charge under the Police Services Act, Toronto Police Association president Mike McCormack told CBC Toronto on Saturday.

That's because the charges have to do with an allegation older than six months, he said.

If charges are laid, Pravica will plead not guilty, McCormack added.

Forcillo, who was convicted in January 2016 of attempted murder in Yatim's death — but acquitted of the more serious second-degree murder charge — has been out on bail since July of last year.

He is appealing his sentence and is expected to return to court for a hearing this October. 

Pravica's lawyer, Peter Brauti, could not be immediately reached for comment.

Toronto police were also unable to comment on the charge Saturday.