Two thirds approve of murder charges for Forcillo

| Filed under: Toronto

Two thirds approve of murder charges for Forcillo

Despite this, trust in police is high

TORONTO January 20th - In a random sampling of public opinion taken by the Forum Poll™ among 546 Toronto adults, as many as two thirds approve of charging Constable James Forcillo with murder in the shooting death of Sammy Yatim (66%). Fewer than one fifth disapprove (18%) and a similar proportion don’t share their views (16%). Approval of the charges is most common to younger respondents (35 to 44 - 75%), mid income groups ($60K to $80K - 72%), Olivia Chow voters from the last Mayoral election (88%), residents of the downtown (73%), those who do not trust Toronto police and those who disagree Toronto weeds out “bad cops” (81%).

Three quarters trust Toronto police

Three quarters of Toronto adults say they have trust in Toronto’s police (78%) and as many as one third say they have a “great deal of trust” (33%). Those with the highest levels of trust include the younger respondents (35 to 45 - 45%) and the oldest (44%), those in upper income groups ($60K to $80K - 42%), Doug Ford voters (42%), those who think Toronto’s police recruiting and training weeds out unfit police officers (43%) and those who disapprove of the murder charges against Forcillo (56%).

One quarter think Toronto police do not weed out unfit officers

Just less than one quarter of Torontonians believe the system for recruiting and training new police officers is not able to screen out those who shouldn’t serve in the role (23%), while more than a third think it can do this (36%). The plurality, 4-in-10, doesn’t know (41%).

Few think trial outcome would have changed with locale

In total, just one third of Torontonians think changing the venue of the trial would have made a difference to the outcome (37%), about one quarter thinking it would have benefitted Forcillo (23%) and about half this proportion thinking it wouldn’t (14%). Close to one half believe the trial outcome would have been no different after a venue change (45%) and as many as one fifth don’t have an opinion (19%).

“Torontonians are very familiar with the Forcillo case, and most see it as appropriate that he was charged with murder. Despite this, most trust their police force, and expect it to protect them from rogue officers,” said Forum Research President, Dr. Lorne Bozinoff.

Lorne Bozinoff, Ph.D. is the president and founder of Forum Research. He can be reached at or at (416) 960-9603.