Put yourself in the Yatim family’s home: your 18 year old son is dead, shot 9 times by a cop who was in no danger. His bloody death is videoed, now on the internet and in the papers, reviewed and judged by millions of strangers. The cops close ranks. It must seem much like Syria, the country you fled five years ago. The powerful kill wordlessly. They are impervious.
And then some relief. After days, the boss of bosses, the Police Services Board, reaches out to console and reassure you. Maybe they will help?
They spell your name wrong. They don’t quite know when your son was killed.
The Toronto Police Services Board, on which Councillor Nunziata serves, has issued a press release expressing its “sincere sympathy to the family of Sammy Yatin at this time of their grievous loss”. The man shot by police last weekend was Sammy Yatim, 18.
The press release goes on to say that
Like Mr. Yatin’s family and other Torontonians, the Toronto Police Services Board seeks to understand the tragic events that transpired on July 26, 2013.
But Yatim was not killed on the 26th. He was killed in the early morning of the 27th. Hurried deadlines did not lead to these errors. The press release was issued July 30th, three days after his killing.
You might think that an oversight body would have someone who can do a little fact checking.
Anglicization of a foreign name is not to blame. The TPSB actually spells the young dead man’s name in two different ways; at the end of the release, they call him Yatim, like every newspaper has.
Press releases so exsanguinated—if you’ll pardon the word in this context—can be very hard to get through, but, if we are to investigate the murder of a young man, we really ought to know his name and the date on which he was killed. A supervisory body that can’t find a newspaper and a calendar will find neither the truth nor the public’s trust.
The TPSB has issued a correction. They now spell Yatim’s name correctly.
 Yatim was killed shortly after midnight.