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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

RCMP report on taser use out Thursday

June 11, 2008
Neal Hall, Vancouver Sun

VANCOUVER - The Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP will release its report on the use of Tasers on Thursday, and commission chairman Paul Kennedy will be in Vancouver to field questions about it later this month.

Kennedy's report on RCMP use of Tasers will include recommendations for immediate implementation.

Kennedy will appear at the Braidwood inquiry into the use of Tasers in B.C. on June 25 to explain his report and answer questions.

"We're happy to appear after we submit our own report," Nelson Kalil, communications manager for the RCMP public complaints commission, said Tuesday.

The B.C. inquiry, headed by retired B.C. Court of Appeal justice Thomas Braidwood, was ordered by Attorney-General Wally Oppal after the death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver International Airport last October.

Braidwood is heading two inquiries. The first is a study commission into the use, effectiveness and safety of conducted energy weapons -- such as Tasers -- in B.C. by law enforcement agencies other than the RCMP.

The second phase will be a "hearing and study" commission to provide a complete record of the circumstances surrounding the death of Dziekanski. The second inquiry will begin after completion of an RCMP investigation into the events that preceded Dziekanski's death.

The first Braidwood inquiry held 14 days of public forums in Vancouver starting May 5, and heard from 46 presenters and received 43 written submissions. Another sitting day is scheduled for June 25 to accommodate people who requested an opportunity to address the commission.

The original deadline for the Braidwood commission's report was June 30, but Oppal has given a five-month extension, until Nov. 30, to complete the work of the study commission, which got more submissions than originally anticipated and needed more time to review all the oral presentations and written material.

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