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Friday, November 27, 2009

RCMP watchdog won't be reappointed

November 27, 2009
CBC News

The federal government will not be reappointing Paul Kennedy as the chair of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, CBC News has learned.

Kennedy, whose last day on the job will be Dec. 31, reportedly would have accepted another term. He was interested in seeing through anticipated new legislation to bring in a civilian oversight agency for the RCMP.

Kennedy recently completed an investigation into the death of Robert Dziekanski at the Vancouver International Airport and has investigated in-custody deaths, Taser use and how Mounties investigate themselves.

Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh said the public interest would be better served if Kennedy remained in his post.

"I believe this government is not interested in anyone with any degree of independence. They want servile public servants," he said.

"Whenever someone is doing a tremendous job in the public interest they want to shut them down. They did this with the military police complaints commissioner, Peter Tinsley."

Tinsley, whose term also expires next month and will not be renewed, also wanted to stay on because of his ongoing inquiry into the treatment of Afghan detainees.

A statement from the office of Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan thanked Kennedy for his "distinguished and professional service," adding he has "provided guidance that will be considered as the RCMP continues to make progress on its transformation agenda."

"The government will be moving to reform oversight of the RCMP in the months ahead to strengthen accountability," the statement said. "It will seek to ensure independent investigation of incidents, so that the force does not lead investigations into itself."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have studied Robert's death pretty in depth to analyze the use of Tasers by police departments. I believe that there is a time and a place for officers to use Taser devices and I also see the device as a very good alternative to lethal force. But, I absolutely despise the stigma officers and trained with by Taser International that it is a safe/non-lethal weapon. It is certainly more safe than a bullet, but it is much more dangerous than a hands-on detaining with handcuffs. And no one is willing to admit that. It's absolutely terrible. Police officers are generally very good people that are simply being lied to about the effects and power that a Taser has.

The simple fact is that a single shock with a Taser is nearly impossible to kill a generally healthy person. But the deaths that we have seen from Taser's almost always involve several long shocks by officers that don't understand the power of the device.

I have, sadly, seen the videos of the Terminal in Vancouver where Robert was killed by a Taser. And it really all centers around the officers having no idea that the so-called safe alternative they are using is not safe at all. Now, with his case in particular, there is a very strong argument that they escalated waaaaaayyyy more than they needed and reacted with extreme excessive force. But, I doubt they realized the Taser would cause so much harm.

Also, I'm glad that you continue to update this blog because it's a subject that needs more attention. Tasers are turning good cops into murderers and turning innocent people into victims of a terrible marketing campaign.