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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

taser executive tweets on tasering canadians with intellectual disabilities

A prominent Taser International executive "tweeted" the following statement on Twitter earlier today: "I'm all for tasers if they prevent this: "Police shoot mentally disabled man""

So, as it turns out, Doug Minty, a 59 year old man with intellectual disabilities, died on Monday night after he was shot with a gun an as-yet undisclosed number of times by an Ontario Provincial Police officer. The Toronto Star report above says neighbours heard "multiple gunshots." The Barrie Examiner says police discharged a weapon "at least once" and are "searching for witnesses." (Did anyone get VIDEO?????) When the officer arrived there was an "interaction" between him and an occupant of the home. The involved officer was not injured. The North Bay Nugget says "Police were called to 21 Lawson Ave. shortly after 8 p.m. in response to an altercation between a door-to-door salesman and a resident of the home ... Several neighbours said they heard four shots go off."

To the tweeting Taser International executive mentioned above, who holds this news up as a fine example in FAVOUR of tasers, I say: In Canada, we DO NOT shoot NOR do we taser our most vulnerable citizens. This man had INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES, for god's sake. He did not need to be shot with a taser any more than he needed to be shot with a gun!!!

And, in fact the last time a taser was used on a person with intellectual disabilities in Canada, it was used by the same outfit - Julian Fantino's Ontario Provincial Police - when they tasered a 14 year old girl with intellectual disabilities to bring her to compliance with officers’ orders to stop scratching paint off the walls of the holding cell where she was being held. A $500,000 lawsuit against the OPP is in the works.

And, in October 2008, the Toronto Police tasered an intellectually disabled man multiple times. A $9 million dollar lawsuit is in the works.

I'm sickened by today's news and by Taser International's use of this tragedy as a pathetic attempt to sell more tasers.

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