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Friday, October 09, 2009

RCMP review probe into N.W.T. Taser incident

October 9, 2009
CBC News

RCMP in the Northwest Territories are reviewing the findings of an independent investigation into a police officer's use of a Taser on a teenage girl in a young offenders' facility in Inuvik, N.W.T.

An Inuvik RCMP officer used the 50,000-volt stun gun to subdue the girl, who was 15 years old at the time, at the Arctic Tern Young Offender Facility on March 13, 2007.

The girl, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was laying on the floor with her hands cuffed behind her back at the time of the incident.

Corrections officials have said the teen was acting so aggressively that staff called in an RCMP officer.

Following an investigation by CBC News last year, the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP launched its own probe into what happened.

The independent police watchdog submitted its report to police for comments late last month.

A spokesperson for the commission told CBC News it hopes to release its report before the end of this year.

In addition to reviewing the 2007 incident, the commission also examined how impartial the RCMP was in its two investigations of the incident.

The police force had concluded that the officer who used the Taser on the girl did nothing wrong.

But the CBC News investigation found that at least one of the police probes was conducted by an officer who worked in the Inuvik RCMP detachment.

Another review by the Northwest Territories government cleared corrections workers of wrongdoing.

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