Sunday, July 26, 2009

B.C. police ordered to rein in Taser Use.

This is certainly heartening news. Hopefully, other provinces will also change their policies in light of the recommendations. Not much detail in this article. No mention of any blame attaching to some of the officers involved.

This is from the Ottawa Citizen.

B.C. police ordered to rein in Taser use
Recommendations of Dziekanski inquiry accepted in full
Canwest News ServiceJuly 24, 2009
The provincial government has directed "all police, sheriffs and corrections officers in B.C." to immediately "severely restrict the use" of Tasers in response to recommendations by the Braidwood inquiry.

B.C. Solicitor General Kash Heed announced Thursday the government accepts all 19 recommendations made by retired judge Thomas Braidwood in his report on the first phase of the inquiry.

Braidwood, the head of the inquiry, called for "the threshold for use" of the weapons to be "significantly revised from 'active resistance' to the much higher standard of 'causing bodily harm.' "

The retired judge said Thursday his report "bluntly states" that the provincial government has abdicated its responsibility to establish province-wide standards for the use of Tasers.

"In my view, it is the province's responsibility to set the rules about conducted-energy-weapon use and officer training. It is the duty of law-enforcement agencies to train their officers and deploy the weapon in accordance with those policies," he said.

The inquiry was called after the high-profile death of Robert Dziekanski, a Polish immigrant who died after being hit with a Taser at the Vancouver International Airport in October 2007.

The incident was captured on amateur video, which resulted in international public outcry.

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