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Monday, December 06, 2010

Ontario cop cleared in Taser death

December 6, 2010
Toronto Sun, QMI Agency

COLLINGWOOD, Ont. – There will be no criminal charges for a southern Ontario cop who killed a man with a Taser this summer, Ontario's police watchdog has ruled.

Ian Scott, director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), concluded there are no reasonable grounds to charge the Ontario Provincial Police officer with a criminal offence in regards to the death of a Collingwood, Ont., man in late June.

Aron Firman, a schizophrenic who was on medication to control his symptoms, died after a police officer stunned him with a Taser while responding to an altercation between Firman and another resident at a group home in Collingwood.

In his report, Scott attributed Firman’s death to the deployment of the Taser, but said the device is characterized as “less lethal,” which led the officer to reasonably believe it would not cause death.

The SIU assigned four investigators and two forensic investigators to probe Firman's death and interviewed 23 civilian witnesses. The SIU investigates whenever a police officer harms or kills a civilian.

“In these circumstances, and in light of Mr. Firman’s demonstrated degree of aggression, I am of the opinion that the Taser’s deployment was not excessive, notwithstanding the fact that it caused Mr. Firman’s demise,” said Scott.

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