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Sunday, April 10, 2011

British Columbia's children's rep to probe Tasering of boy, 11, by RCMP

April 10, 2011
By Damian Inwood, The Province

B.C.'s Representative for Children and Youth, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, is launching her own investigation into why Prince George RCMP used a Taser on an 11-yearold boy who was the suspect in a stabbing at a group home.

"The circumstances, as I understand them at this point, are distressing," Turpel-Lafond told The Province Saturday.

"Why are we using Tasers on chilren? Did the police take steps to descalate the situation?"

Supt. Brenda Butterworth-Carr, the commanding officer of the RCMP Prince George detachment, confirmed the child was hit with Taser as he emerged from a neighbouring property from where the attack took place Thursday.

Turpel-Lafond said she wants to know why the boy was in a group home in the first place.

"I'm alarmed," she added. "There are some very hard issues that this raises. Why did it get to this point and what initiatives were taken to support this child?"

Mounties responded to a 911 call that reported a stabbing at 5: 30 p.m. Thursday.

"Police confirmed that a 37-year old male had been allegedly stabbed by an 11-year-old male and the victim was enroute to hospital for medical care," said Butterworth-Carr.

"Members began to search for the suspect and he was located at a nearby neighbouring property. Efforts were made to get the individual out of the house and, when he emerged from the home, a conducted energy weapon was deployed by a member."

The 11-year-old was taken into custody and transported to hospital for assessment, she said.

The victim was in hospital in good condition with non-life-threatening injuries, said Butterworth-Carr.

She said she didn't know the status of the 11-year-old and referred questions to West Vancouver police, who are conducting an independent investigation into the incident.

News reports said the boy barricaded himself in a Giscome Road group home after stabbing an employee with a steak knife.

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