Dec 17 2007

A shocking admission about Tasers from the RCMP

Published by at 2:08 am under Current Events,Vancouver

Following on the recent death of a Polish national at Vancouver’s YVR airport after he was Tasered by cops, the RCMP have new rules for use of the law enforcement device: RCMP officers from now on only fire the electric stun guns at suspects who are combative or resisting arrest.

Um, I sort of assumed that was the procedure before the incident. Does this mean the RCMP are now admitting that their officers could use Tasers on suspects who were not combative or resisting arrest, but merely uppity? Interesting.

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3 responses so far

3 Responses to “A shocking admission about Tasers from the RCMP”

  1. ian in hamburgon 17 Dec 2007 at 6:59 am

    What I could never understand about that taser fiasco was whatever happened to the old Full Nelson and a pair of handcuffs slapped on behind the back? Had they been used, the man would still be alive.

  2. Jeremy Limon 22 Dec 2007 at 8:12 am

    You can argue that tasers are considered non-lethal weapons, but at the same time, whatever happened to defense through equal force?

    I can get sued for using a knife if someone comes at me with his fists. Does that not apply to police officers?

  3. jnarveyon 22 Dec 2007 at 9:42 am

    Good question, Jeremy. Thanks for asking. Sadly, I’m not a cop (I would have failed the eye exam), but as far as I understand it, if you felt that the person using his fists was threatening your life, self-defense would allow using a knife (or a taser, or a machine gun, for that matter). They can’t sue you if a reasonable person would conclude that you felt your life was in danger.

    Police are certainly under no obligation to use equal force (ie. fists against fists or guns against guns) since they are empowered to use a reasonable amount of force to restore order to a situation or protect the lives of themselves and bystanders. The problem in this case is that the video seems to clearly show Vancouver police officers using an unreasonable amount of force to deal with the situation.

    What a reasonable amount of force is defined as is often open to interpretation. In this case, it seems pretty clear the cops stepped waaaaaaaaaaaay over the line.

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