February 14, 2008
THE CANADIAN PRESS, Toronto Star
Montreal police have opened an internal investigation into allegations that one of its Taser instructors has also worked for the company that manufactures the weapon. Radio-Canada reports that Lt. Michel Masse, who played a key role training Montreal officers how to use Tasers, has been paid to promote their use. Masse is a paid "master instructor" for Taser, the CBC's French-language service said Thursday. He was also paid by Taser France to promote the stun gun in Europe, the broadcaster said.
Montreal police originally told Radio-Canada that Masse had ceased working with Taser International more than one year ago. But according to Radio-Canada, Masse travelled to Cyprus last June to once again promote the Taser. "That's not acceptable," said Rene Allard of the Montreal force. "I'll refer this . . . to internal affairs so we can begin an investigation of these claims."
Montreal police are already facing heat for reportedly overusing the Taser in several instances over the past two years. Tasers were used 11 times since 2006 in situations that did not meet the force's guidelines, Radio-Canada reported. The weapons were used a total of 53 times by Montreal police in 2006 and 2007.
Using documents obtained through access to information requests, Radio-Canada concluded that Montreal police repeatedly used Tasers on people who were passively resistant. The force's guidelines state Tasers should only be used when dealing with aggressive individuals or those actively trying to resist arrest.
Since 2003, at least 17 Canadians have died following stun gun incidents.
See also Darren Laur
WELCOME to TRUTH ... not TASERS
Thursday, February 14, 2008
February 14, 2008