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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Safety minister's request delays disclosure of RCMP watchdog's taser findings

You don't suppose Shockwell Day is going to call for a MORATORIUM on tasers after yesterday's scathing news, do you?!? Nah - he's probably just feeling a little excited delirium.

June 12, 2008
The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — A last-minute call from the public safety minister has delayed release of what's expected to be a hard-hitting report on RCMP Taser use.

A spokesman for Paul Kennedy, the watchdog over the RCMP, says the minister's office asked late Wednesday for a meeting - resulting in cancellation of the report's scheduled release today.

Kennedy agreed to meet Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day early next week, and publication of the Taser report is now slated for the following Wednesday.

Day, who is travelling, received an advance copy Tuesday.

The commissioner's interim report on Tasers, released in December, recommended an overhaul of Taser training, stricter reporting requirements, and more research on the controversial devices.

A Canadian Press CBC-Radio-Canada investigation of more than 3,200 incidents in which Mounties fired the powerful stun guns in the last six years shows that officers used the Taser multiple times in almost half of cases.

The pattern of repeated shocks has continued in recent years, despite a 2005 RCMP directive warning numerous zaps could be hazardous.

Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski died last October after being repeatedly zapped with an RCMP Taser and subdued by officers at Vancouver International Airport.

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