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Friday, December 10, 2010

Victim’s family wants Taser reclassified as lethal

“It’s a fact now — it’s lethal.”

December 10, 2010
Morgan Ian Adams, QMI Agency/Toronto Sun

COLLINGWOOD, Ont. - The father of a man killed earlier this year by a jolt from a Taser says the police weapon should be reclassified as lethal.

On Monday, the Ontario's Special Investigations Unit cleared a provincial police officer who administered the lethal shock to Aron Firman, 27, and blamed the weapon itself – only the second time in Canada that an official link been drawn.

“If the officer knew it would be lethal, I would hope (the officer) would have considered other options when dealing with an unarmed man,” said Marcus Firman, the father of the schizophrenic man.

On June 24, two officers who responded to a call of an altercation found Firman sitting on a chair in the backyard of the group home, according to the SIU report.

Police said Firman grew increasingly agitated as he was questioned and, according to the report, elbowed one of the officers in the face.

When an officer discharged his Taser, Firman reportedly fell to the ground, unconscious. He was later pronounced dead at hospital.

A post-mortem report indicated Firman died from “cardiac arrhythmia” precipitated by the use of the Taser.

Marcus says his son had a slightly-enlarged heart, and a “genetic marker” that occurs in roughly 20% of the population, in which the heart receives an excessive level of calcium, which could have been factors in his death.

“Recognizing that the Taser is, in fact, potentially lethal, we are urging Taser International and the police to do the right thing and reclassify the weapon as a weapon of last resort, next to the use of a firearm,” he said. “It’s a fact now — it’s lethal.”

A coroners inquest continues into his death.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The taser should have been re classified as lethal several years ago....had it been done then, perhaps the multiple deaths due to the misuse of the taser would be minimal...not 524 and rising. And as long as our police officers are trained to believe that this device is less than lethal...that number will continue to rise. Taser international management and their lap dogs should be in jail.