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Friday, April 04, 2008

Mental health group says police use of a taser is far better than a gun

April 4, 2008
The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - Mixed messages are being received by a Commons committee looking into use of Tasers by Canadian police. While some groups are urging a moratorium on Taser use, the Schizophrenia Society says the shock weapons are far preferred to a gun. The society's John Gray says has seen people volunteer to be jolted with a Taser, but hasn't heard of anyone volunteering to be shot by a gun.

But the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and lawyer Cameron Ward both called for a moratorium until more study can be done. Ward handed the committee a list of 336 people in North America who have died after being hit with Tasers - deaths that mostly involved people who weren't armed with a weapon, who had been acting erratically and who were shocked more than once.

The committee's investigation is one of more than a dozen launched after the death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver's airport last October.

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