Friday, January 16, 2009

RCMP Taser deaths face renewed probe.

This is from the Star.

Interesting that the RCMP has not acted on some of the earlier recommendations. Who determines what recommendations are accepted and how are such decisions justified?
At least the issue of Taser use is not being shoved off onto the back burner as yet. Taser International of course is always diligently defending its profit making Taser and collecting experts to testify to its safety!

RCMP Taser deaths face renewed probe - Canada - RCMP Taser deaths face renewed probe
Watchdog to examine officers' compliance
January 16, 2009 tonda maccharlesottawa bureau
OTTAWA–The RCMP's watchdog agency has launched a new probe into the deaths of people who have been Tasered by Mounties.
Paul Kennedy, chairman of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, said in an interview that he initiated this latest review to establish whether there are patterns in the cases where people have died that call for changes.
Kennedy said he is unaware of any comprehensive look at all the deaths that ensued after Mounties began using conducted-energy weapons in 2001. RCMP officers have used the weapon about 4,300 times over those years, he said. Kennedy would not identify which cases he will examine, but said it is about 10 or 11.
Amnesty International says 25 people have died after being Tasered in Canada, including 11 who died when RCMP officers used the weapon.
In the United States, Amnesty says, there were 334 deaths between 2001 and last August.
Critics blame many deaths directly on the excessive use of force by police and the Taser's discharge of a 50,000-volt shock.
The U.S.-based manufacturer denies any link, and attributes any deaths to underlying medical or other conditions, such as drug addictions.
The RCMP's watchdog commission has already reviewed a couple of the cases, including the October 2007 death of Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver airport.
Kennedy said the goal of the new review is to see whether officers complied with appropriate training, procedures and "statutory requirements" relating to the use of force, and whether RCMP policies are appropriate.
Kennedy's earlier report urged the RCMP to do a better job of tracking when and how it uses Tasers, called for only experienced officers to be armed with them, and for immediate medical attention for anyone struck by the weapons. The force appears to have acted on some of his recommendations, but not the latter two.

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