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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Commons committee probes taser use amid debate over stun gun safety

January 30, 2008
The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - A spokesman for the maker of Taser stun guns defended the powerful weapons before a Commons committee that's studying their growing use. Thomas Smith, chairman of Taser International, says injuries to police officers and suspects have decreased in communities where the electronic guns are used. The public safety committee has launched an investigation amid an international uproar over the death last October of Robert Dziekanski. The Polish immigrant, who did not speak English, became agitated after spending hours in a wing of the Vancouver airport. He died soon after being Tasered and pinned to the floor by RCMP officers.

MPs are expected to hear from RCMP officers, customs officials and airport workers before drafting a report to Parliament.

The committee's work is in addition to a B.C. public inquiry and several other reviews.

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