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

Thursday, February 26, 2009

EDITORIAL: Show us that Tasers save lives

February 26, 2009
The Province

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police and the Canadian Police Association issued a joint position at a Parliament Hill news conference Tuesday on the use of Tasers.

The groups' position called on all officers nationwide to be authorized and trained in the use of this weapon, calling Tasers "a valuable use-of-force option available to police to reduce the risk of injury or death."

Julian Fantino, the Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police, told reporters that "Tasers save lives," and that 150 studies worldwide prove "there is no direct link in any case" between the use of a Taser and a death.

When asked to reveal the studies, Chief Fantino offered the glib response that he had no intention of doing the media's homework.

Sounds a lot like the tobacco industry in the 1970s, doesn't it?

Here are some questions for the nation's police departments to consider:

If Tasers save lives and if Tasers are safe, then why are they so controversial?

What evidence is there to support the argument that Tasering someone saves lives?

And finally, why would the two largest police organizations in this country come out with guns blazing on the Taser issue at the same time as the Braidwood Inquiry is looking into the safety of these weapons?

There probably is a place for Tasers in the law-enforcement arsenal, but more study has to be done to determine what that place might be.

The Braidwood inquiry is a big part of that study.

For the police to come out now and boldly suggest more Tasers are needed is, at once, bullying, egregious and insensitive.

1 comment:

David said...

It was Commissioner Fantino's inappropriate statements and remarks reported in the press on Feb 25 2009 that prompted me to begin a blog entitled "Setting Commissioner Fantino Straight" (http://settingcommissionerfantinostraight.blogspot.com)
Although I am not specifically anti-Taser, I consider myself against the inappropriate use of any type of police force, and I am certainly offended by rather glib statements such as those proffered by Fantino, and parrotted by others in the law enforcement profession.
I wish I could say I understand your loss, but I cannot, It must be devastating. I have witnessed tragic deaths far too often myself, but not the passing of someone I love in such a manner.

Keep up the good fight!