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

Friday, July 24, 2009

EDITORIAL: Heeding Braidwood

July 24, 2009
The Province

Nineteen recommendations have been released by the Braidwood inquiry into the use of Tasers. These recommendations are, in a word,

magnificent. Even more magnificent is the fact that B.C. Solicitor General Kash Heed announced Thursday the government accepts all recommendations made by retired judge Thomas Braidwood.

The key recommendation made by Braidwood called for "the threshold for use" of the weapons to be significantly revised from "active resistance" to the much higher standard of "causing bodily harm."

Certainly, had "causing bodily harm" been the standard for Taser use on that fateful day in 2007 when Robert Dziekanski died, there is no doubt the newly-arrived Polish immigrant would have eventually reunited with his mother at Vancouver airport.

Prior to Braidwood's report, the RCMP position was that the force would adopt the recommendations nationwide -- this despite testimony from a number of officers maintaining that Tasers save lives.

While many members of our national police force may feel undermined by the acceptance of Braidwood's recommendations, the fact is that if public confidence in the Mounties is to be restored, dramatically restricting the use of Tasers had to be the first step.

"While today's report deals with conducted energy weapons, I am firmly of the view that the most effective weapon the police have in their arsenal is public support," Braidwood said.

What a wise and judicious man,

No comments: