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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Canadians Back Moratorium on Taser Use

June 29, 2010

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Half of adults in Canada would like to see law enforcement agencies steer clear from using tasers, according to a poll by Angus Reid Public Opinion. 49 per cent of respondents support a moratorium on the use of stun-guns.

Tasers administer an electric shock, which temporarily stuns individuals and facilitates their submission. The weapons are described as non-lethal, and are not supposed to inflict any permanent damage.

In October 2007, Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski died at Vancouver International Airport after Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers used a taser on him.

Earlier this month, a judicial inquiry, headed by retired judge Thomas Braidwood, issued its final report on Dziekanski’s death. The report concludes that there was no justification for RCMP officers to use a taser, and that Dziekanski did not pose a threat to the officers.

RCMP commissioner Willam Elliott discussed the situation, saying, "It is clear that our policies and training in place at the time were deficient. We acknowledge that the actions of our members who dealt with Mr. Dziekanski also fell short. Our officers did not take enough time to try and de-escalate the situation and did not provide an appropriate level of care to Mr. Dziekanski."

Polling Data

From what you have seen, heard, or read, would you support or oppose issuing a moratorium on the use of tasers by Canada’s law enforcement agencies?

Jun. 2010
May 2008

Jun. 2010
May 2008

Not sure
Jun. 2010
May 2008

Source: Angus Reid Public Opinion
Methodology: Online interviews with 1,009 Canadian adults, conducted on Jun. 22 and Jun. 23, 2010. Margin of error is 3.1 per cent.

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