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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Coquitlam (British Columbia) father says he is latest victim of police Taser

October 23, 2007
CBC News

A Coquitlam, B.C., man says he is the latest victim of a Taser gun, the controversial electro-shock weapon that police can use to subdue people they are trying to arrest. Colin Hawkins said he was picking up his 17-year-old son from a rowdy neighbourhood party Friday night when an RCMP officer used a Taser on him after he had been wrestled to the ground. Three days later, the wound on Hawkins' leg has started to heal, but he is still in shock.

In an interview with CBC, Hawkins said Coquitlam RCMP used a Taser on him after he yelled at police who were arresting his son. He and his wife and daughter were returning from a hockey game at the time of the alleged incident. Hawkins said he got out of the car and started screaming at police. After being handcuffed and tossed to the ground, Hawkins said he was told that police would use a Taser if he didn't "stay."

"Within seconds of that, I was Tasered,'' he said

Hawkins said that while he was being dragged down the street, he tried to explain that he was trying to pick up his son from the party. "Tasering someone when they're down in handcuffs is wrong,'' said Hawkins' wife, Tira, who also spoke to CBC.

Hawkins said he was taken to the police station but released without being charged. He said he plans to file a complaint about the incident, which comes only one week after two Taser deaths in Canada. A Polish man in his 40s died at Vancouver International Airport when RCMP jolted him with a Taser last week, and a 38-year-old Quebec man died last Wednesday after police Tasered him during an interrogation at a police station.

A spokesperson for Coquitlam RCMP declined to comment late Monday. She said police are reviewing the file.

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