You may have arrived here via a direct link to a specific post. To see the most recent posts, click HERE.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

RCMP watchdog opens new taser probe

January 15, 2009
The Canadian Press

Chair-Initiated Complaint & Public Interest Investigation – In-Custody Deaths Proximal to CEW Use

OTTAWA — The watchdog over the RCMP has launched a new probe of incidents in which people died after being hit with a Mountie Taser.

Paul Kennedy, chair of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, opened an investigation today into the actions of officers in several cases where people in custody died following use of the 50,000-volt stun guns.

The probe will stretch back to 2001, the year the national police force began using Tasers.

Kennedy will look at whether officers complied with relevant training, policies, guidelines and laws concerning use of force.

He will also examine whether existing RCMP measures are adequate.

A report commissioned by the RCMP earlier this year said national standards, more resources and better co-ordination are needed to ensure officers are properly trained to use Tasers.

The report said the Mounties did not get enough input from medical and mental-health experts about the weapon's impact on people.

In all, more than 20 people in Canada have died after being hit with stun guns, which are widely used by police.

Manufacturer Taser International insists the devices cannot be blamed for deaths, though medical officials have cited the guns as contributing factors in some cases.

No comments: