You may have arrived here via a direct link to a specific post. To see the most recent posts, click HERE.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Toronto police watchdog protests taser presentation

January 14, 2007
Betsy Powell, The Toronto Star

A watchdog group is calling on the Toronto Police Services Board to cancel an appearance at police headquarters Thursday by the head of Taser International Inc. “We believe that the Board agreeing to host this event is inappropriate,” John Sewell of the Toronto Police Accountability Coalition wrote in a letter delivered today to the board.

On the heels of two inquest juries recommending their expanded use, Chief Bill Blair has submitted a report to the board requesting that all front-line officers be equipped with the devices manufactured by Taser International. It’s estimated that would cost $8.6 million.

Sewell, a former mayor of Toronto, said it is “improper” to give “a possible supplier such a privileged vantage point” where he can say “exactly how great his product is.”

“We have no problem with Mr. (Tom) Smith hiring a hall and making the pitch for his product. What is improper is for the Board to provide the venue and the support for this company. This kind of support means the Board is aligning itself with the interests of Taser International Inc. This is wrong.”

Last week, board chair Alok Mukherjee said in an email to the Star that the meeting was arranged after he held discussions “with various people in light of the incidents in Vancouver and elsewhere.” The most high profile incident happened at Vancouver airport last year when a Polish man died after being shocked by RCMP officers using Tasers.

“When the offer was made to me to have Tom Smith come here, I thought it was a great opportunity to have a public event where curious as well as concerned folks could hear directly from him and also have him respond to their questions,” Mukherjee said. “So, this is more by way of a public information and interaction session.”

Mukherjee added he hoped the meeting “will be educational for Board members also and help them think through the related issues.”


Anonymous said...

Somebody should show up with 314 coffins if he attends. At least 314 white crosses. It's despicable that the police are offering him a stage.

What the hell do police know about electricity? Christmas lights.

Anonymous said...

I was Tasered on Christmas 2005 by the Toronto Police, For no valid reason. They tased me twice busted down the door of my apartment letting the bill to the owner. They had the gall to leave their taser filaments behind in the hall way as reminder and also there arrogant callousness of use of it. Lucky me, i saw the 2 darts fly unto me, but i think the magnetic field from my liver made it swerve below the solar plexus. They tased me twice, i was wearing security shoes that were rubberized but t still the current was strong enough to go through my spine, legs, through the shoes, into connecting as a ggroung to the rebar in the concrete of my buidling. IO was spitting blood a month later which never happned to me. The tasering had blown my blood circulatory system, I dont know how gentle they had planned to taser me, but they had 3 firee departemnt people on duty in case of a heart attack. Lucky me i was standing so the current did not reach my solar plexus whixh contrrols breathing and heart rhytms. Sorry for my misspelling. Lucky me i wasntr charged with bogus offenses, vut they said boguslly to the psychiatrist at the St-Mike's that i was saying i was going to jump of the 15th floor. Bogus. I just told them to go back to school when they knocvked on Christmas day. My behavior wasn't threatening in now any towards any one. Maybe i was lucky to tell the tail. I have been subjected by that department by many bogus and arrogant actions. As i say they acct like overpaid juvenile deliquents. Not all of them. But there is a secret gang within that legal corp that makes deals with the street punks to do their dirty work. One advice to anyone that is faced with a tasering situation, pull the wires out if you can,, and never fall down becasue the charge can do damage to the brain or heart as it tries to exit the body. It can be a good tool for law enforecement but the trigger should never be pulled once the man is down for obvious biological and electrical phenomanas. I salute the good policemen that make most of the 7,000 body of the Toronto police force. They have acted cery properly more then once towards mew, but some instances were tottaly uncacceptable, and they should beware of using their political might in the wrong way. richardmyemail@yahoo.com