FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 1, 2013
CONTACTS: Tarek Fatah, 416-953-1798 Pascal Zamprelli, Director of Communications (Canada), Change.org , 514-830-6550, pascal@change.org

***PRESS RELEASE*** JUSTICE FOR SAMMY YATIM: OVER 30,000 SIGN PETITION IN UNDER 24 HOURS
• Petition launched by Tarek Fatah calls on Special Investigations Unit to lay charges against officer who shot Yatim “in the interest of justice and to assure the citizenry”. • “Let a court decide whether any laws were broken,” says Fatah, “for the good of communities and for better civilian-police relations.”

TORONTO, ON – In less than 24 hours, over 30,000 people have signed a Change.org petition demanding justice for Sammy Yatim. The petition, launched by journalist, radio host and downtown Toronto resident Tarek Fatah, calls on Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit to lay charges against the police officer who shot and killed Yatim while the 18-year-old was alone in a streetcar armed only with a small knife. "Why did Sammy Yatim have to be shot dead by the Police?" asks Fatah on his petition, which urges that “for the good of communities and for better civilian-police relations,” we must “let a court decide whether any laws were broken.” “An inquiry is taking place,” Fatah continues. “However, we fear this inquiry too will end up like earlier such exercises and no will be found responsible for the death of this young troubled man who had all his life ahead of him. If the police constable who shot Sammy Yatim dead is not charged, once more we will send a message to ordinary citizens that Police forces are above the law.” Fatah notes that in the last 25 years, similar incidents have led to inquiries, inquests and recommendations, but “it seems none of these policies and procedures have succeeded in preventing the deaths of men and women who need help, not harm.” Fatah emphasizes that his petition does not seek to bring into disrepute “the fine men and women who serve in the Toronto Police,” which he considers the best

 

1  

police force in the world. He also acknowledges that “despite the many videos, we do not know the entire story.” He believes there is enough evidence, however, to conclude that “something awfully wrong happened,” and that only by bringing all the evidence to light can satisfactory answers be found. “We feel the SIU and the Attorney General of Ontario should intervene in the interest of justice and to assure the citizenry, who feel they have no voice in this matter,” he says. “If an appropriate charge is not filed against the police constable who caused the death, the citizenry will lose confidence in the legal system and in the men and women who have been entrusted to deliver justice.” Tarek Fatah’s petition: Change.org/JusticeForSammy For more information on Change.org, please visit: http://www.change.org/about Change.org is the world’s largest petition platform — growing by three million new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country. ###

 

 

2