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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Taser used properly: police official

February 16, 2008
JAN RAVENSBERGEN, The Montreal Gazette

Montreal police acted in an "appropriate" way in each of 53 incidents involving Taser weapons during the past two years, a top city cop told reporters yesterday.

In 19 of 53 cases on which details were obtained by Radio-Canada through an access-to-information request, the stun guns were simply pulled out and displayed to an unruly suspect - and never discharged, said Jean-Guy Gagnon, assistant director of Montreal police responsible for operations.

He flatly rejected Radio-Canada's conclusion that Montreal officers misused Tasers in 11 of the 53 incidents. A substantial amount of information providing the full context for each police action had been blacked out in the incident reports disclosed to the news service, Gagnon said. He cited privacy laws.

Meanwhile, an investigation has begun of an officer who had been one of the department's Taser trainers until late 2006, Gagnon said. A conflict-of-interest allegation that the officer subsequently trained non-Montreal police in stun-gun use has not been proved.

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