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Monday, February 18, 2008

Two commissions investigate taser-related death

February 18, 2008
Canwest News Services/The Province

VANCOUVER - The B.C. government could change its policy on the use of Tasers as early as this summer. On Monday, Attorney General Wally Oppal announced he has ordered an immediate inquiry into the use of Tasers by police in the province. He said he has also now set the terms of reference for the inquiry into the death of Robert Dziekanski, who was Tasered by police at the Vancouver International Airport in October 2007.

"Given the overlapping reviews and investigations now being conducted, combined with the jurisdictional complexity of this tragic incident, we felt it prudent to adopt a two-phased approach," Oppal said in a statement.

"The federal government has indicated that it will co-operate."

Oppal said both inquiries will be conducted by Vancouver lawyer Thomas Braidwood. Oppal added he has asked the study on the use of Tasers to be started immediately, and completed by June 30. The commissioner will then be asked to determine when the second inquiry - the one specifically looking into Dziekanski's death - can begin.

A coroner's inquest into the matter has been scheduled for May 5 to 16.

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