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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

RCMP taser trainer guilty of assault with stun gun

August 13, 2008
Susan Lazaruk, The Province

An RCMP officer who trains other officers in the use of Tasers has been found guilty of assault in 100 Mile House while using a stun gun.

Const. Dan Cameron was found guilty in provincial court after a four-day trial. He remains on active duty awaiting sentencing and also faces possible internal discipline.

Cameron responded to a disturbance outside Jake's Bar early on Dec. 17, 2006, and ordered Kevin Campbell, a shirtless, drunken patron who had been swearing at another officer, to get out of a vehicle or he would be hit with 50,000 volts of electricity, according to court documents.

Cameron said he had been told there was a fight outside the bar and thought Campbell was involved in it and so had reasonable grounds to arrest him. Campbell was combative and resisted arrest, according to testimony, so Cameron used the Taser against him.

Judge Lynne Dollis ruled that Cameron didn't have reasonable and probable grounds to arrest Campbell for causing a disturbance for fighting and therefore "was not acting in the execution of his duty when he applied the Taser to Mr. Campbell and is guilty of assaulting Mr. Campbell with a weapon, a Taser."

RCMP spokesman Sgt. Tim Shields said the force will have a "code of conduct investigation" to determine if any discipline is necessary against Cameron, which could range from verbal reprimand to dismissal.

He said the incident would not affect RCMP Taser policy because the issue in this case was improper arrest and not improper use of the stun gun.

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