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Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Taser use not "relevant factor" in tattoo artist's death

June 5, 2012


The use of a Taser stun gun on Edmonton tattoo artist Trevor Grimolfson was "not a relevant factor" in his death, according to a fatality inquiry report obtained by CBC News prior to its release later this month.

The two-page report into Grimolfsen's death on Oct. 29th, 2008 also contains no recommendations, which concerns his mother Beverly."All you can get are recommendations and you don't even get one to prevent a similar death? Not even one?" she asked. "That's what my son would want. He would not want anyone else to die like that."

Trevor Grimolfson, 38, died after police tried to subdue him outside his tattoo parlour at 153rd Street and Stony Plain Road. Officers were called after Grimolfson rampaged through a nearby pawnshop and assaulted the store owner.

Police used the Taser on him three times. Grimolfson lost consciousness after he was put in handcuffs and was pronounced dead by the time he arrived at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

In his report, fatality inquiry judge Frederick Day wrote that the last use of a Taser needs to be within 15 seconds of a loss of consciousness for it to be considered a factor in someone's death.

In Grimolfson's case, "a few minutes passed, not seconds, from the time of last Taser use to time of unconsciousness; therefore, the Taser use is not a relevant factor," the judge wrote.

The medical examiner found that Grimolfson died of "excited delirium" triggered by "multiple drug toxicity." He was found to have high levels of the street drugs ecstasy and ketamine in his blood.

Beverly Grimolfson plans to protest outside of future fatality inquiries with relatives of others who have died after Taser use.

During the inquiry, she recommended that researchers at the University of Alberta conduct studies on the effects of the device.

"Something has to be done to get proper testing going here and that's what I'm going to focus on," she said.

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