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Monday, April 27, 2009

EDITORIAL: Limit police use of Tasers

April 27, 2009
Vancouver Province

Given what has come out in testimony at the Braidwood Inquiry, it would be reasonable to assume the RCMP might resist controversial changes to its Taser policy.

Then again, the RCMP's recent history is not exactly rich with examples of savvy public relations.

So, it should hardly come as a, shall we say, shock that a new RCMP policy will no longer prohibit Mounties from firing multiple Taser zaps at suspects.

RCMP Commissioner William Elliott suggested that the force is open to making changes to its new policy.

"I'm not suggesting that the current language of our policy is perfect and I'm not suggesting we aren't prepared to look at further changes," he said.

Well, as a starting point, we like this policy suggestion from Liberal MP Mark Holland: "I don't see why we can't have policies that say if someone is down on the ground writhing in pain, they shouldn't be hit again with a Taser," he told reporters in Ottawa.

That certainly seems reasonable.

Day after day at the Braidwood Inquiry, the public hears more shocking testimony regarding the Mounties' handling of the Robert Dziekanski incident at YVR in 2007.

Now is not the time to make a policy change that will give RCMP officers more freedom to shock.

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