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Friday, September 24, 2010

Letter to the Editor: Taser wasn't cause of death

September 24, 2010
Chilliwack Times


I am writing to you regarding Tyler Olsen's article entitled, "Taser death delay; RCMP failing to sign-off on Knipstrom report now 300 days overdue," in the Sept. 17 Chilliwack Times.

The article itself indicates the RCMP pepper sprayed, Tasered and hit the decendent with a baton.

It further went on to mention the coroner's inquest linked the decedent's death being linked to, "excited delirium" and "serious ecstasy intoxication." Nowhere in your article does it mention the death was caused by the use of a taser.

My concern is the misleading and sensational headline. This headline appears to be an obvious attempt to garner advertising revenue by linking this case to the continuing malicious and unethical reporting of incidents involving police and taser use.

The headline is incorrect and unethical according to your own article.

Members of the B.C. Mounted Police Professional Association (BCMPPA) along with their brothers and sisters in the Canadian Police Association (CPA) continue to make our communities safer using the tools and training provided to them by the RCMP. The use of the phrase, "Taser death" portrays BCMPPA members in a negative and incorrect light.

As the editor, you have final say in how the story is to appear. Please ensure your articles and headlines are factual regarding the BCMPPA and its members. The headline disappointingly betrays the usual professional and factual reporting by the Times and its staff.

Leland Keane, member,
B.C. Mounted Police Professional Association

1 comment:

Excited-Delirium blog said...

Tasers are quite often not (officially) found to be a cause of death, even in cases where the use of the taser CLEARLY played a significant role. One clear example is the case of Robert Dziekanski, where it required a multi-million dollar inquiry (!) to peel away the bald-face lies and failed attempts at deception. Some even suggested that Mr. Dziekanski might have died of "excited delirium", but this "explanation" (it really isn't an explanation) was rejected as unhelpful by Braidwood. After the inquiry, the taser was implicated as the most significant cause of his death.