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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Judge: tasered girl assaulted police

February 1, 2008: Halifax teen girl’s tasering was "by the book," police insist

January 30, 2008: Halifax cops had no right to arrest girl they tasered - judge; 'Set up circumstances for intense confrontation'

January 21, 2009 - Judge: tasered girl assaulted police
By DAVENE JEFFREY, Chronicle Herald (Halifax)

A Dartmouth girl who was Tasered by police in her bedroom in February 2007 assaulted police and resisted arrest, a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge has ruled.

The decision of Justice Heather Robertson, released Tuesday, overturns an earlier decision by provincial court Judge Anne Derrick, who acquitted the girl on Jan. 29, 2008, in Halifax youth court.

Judge Derrick ruled that the girl, whose identity is protected under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was justified in resisting arrest because officers had overstepped their authority.

Reacting to that decision and the public uproar that followed, Halifax Regional Police took the unusual step of commenting publicly on the case. They said the public only knew about the judge’s decision and did not hear the officers’ testimony about the situation they faced Feb. 19, 2007, in a townhouse on Fundy Lane.

The force defended its officers’ actions in using a stun gun on the girl and announced it was asking the Crown to seek an appeal.

Justice Robertson’s decision also supports the officers. "In short, the police were doing their job and performing their duties lawfully," Justice Robertson wrote.

Police were called to the home by the girl’s mother because trouble was brewing. The 17-year-old was angry with her sister, who had taken her purse without asking, and the girl was threatening to damage the house, the court heard during the trial.

When officers walked into the bedroom, the girl was quietly looking out the window. But when officers told the girl that her mother had asked them to take her out of the house, her attitude changed.

"Certainly (the girl’s) rude and aggressive posturing was a signal to the police of things to come," the judge wrote.

"Her conduct then escalated and became a breach of the peace once the officers began the arrest."

Justice Robertson ordered the girl to go back before Judge Derrick to be sentenced.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When police arrived, the girl was looking out a window, then she became rude and agressive. Luckily, the police were prepared to "take her down" in the new way...with tasers. The old way of trying to calm her down, talk to her, giving her some confidence or comfort went right out the same window. The taser has changed everything...for everyone who dares to vocally confront police whether they are a young girl, a child, a grandmother, a hospitaized 80 year old, a pregnant woman, the mentally challenged, the weakened and particularly minorities of all ages. And that seems to be quite alright with our judges and coroners. And because of what is happening with the taser issue, our human and civil rights are going right out that window.......Wake up folks. Our employees are turning on us. Riki Bagnell