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Monday, November 22, 2010

Vancouver: Tasering transit cop to face public hearing

November 22, 2010
The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - The B.C. Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner will hold a public hearing into allegations a Vancouver area transit abused his authority by shocking a passenger with a Taser.

The hearing has not yet been scheduled but the office says it's in the public interest to hold one.

The incident occurred Sept. 13, 2007, when a transit officer tried to write a ticket for a suspected fare cheat who the officer said appeared to be drunk.

The passenger ran away and the officer chased him into a stairwell where he used a conducted energy weapon to jolt the man, who fell and struck his head.

An initial complaint over the incident resulted in differing conclusions, went to a judicial review and eventually back before the commission, which has now ordered a public hearing.

The use of Tasers by police has come under close scrutiny in B.C. since Robert Dziekanski died after being shocked with an RCMP Taser in October 2007.

Use of shock weapons by Metro Vancouver transit police came under scrutiny at the public inquiry into Dziekanski's death and officials from the B.C. Transit Authority Police Service had to be ordered by the B.C. solicitor general to appear at the inquiry.

The inquiry commissioner later recommended the province enact standard rules for forces across B.C. in the use of conducted energy weapons.

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