Friday, June 13, 2008

Day delays Taser Report

The report from RCMP complaints commissioner Paul Kennedy on the use of Tasers by the RCMP, that was expected yesterday has had it's release date moved forward to next week. Safety Minister Stockwell Day, who received the report on Monday has requested the delay. Day is currently in Japan.

Day asked Kennedy to study the RCMP's Taser use, last November after Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski died in October after being repeatedly zapped with an RCMP Taser and subdued by officers at Vancouver International Airport.
A last-minute call from the public safety minister delayed release of what's expected to be a hard-hitting report on RCMP Taser use. The minister's office asked late Wednesday for a meeting on the report, resulting in hasty cancellation of its publication Thursday. Both Day and the RCMP commissioner Wiliam Elliott has received advance copies of the report.

There was no explanation why Day waited until Wednesday to request the meeting, given that Kennedy had announced plans Monday for a Thursday news conference on the report.
Well these two recent stories might have something to do with Day's delay.

A CBC, Canadian press investigation released Wednesday, reported that the RCMP has repeatedly zapped people with tasers in a steadily rising percentage despite having an internal policy that warns numerous jolts may be hazardous.
An investigation of more than 3,200 incidents in which Mounties fired the powerful stun guns in the last six years shows that officers used the taser multiple times in almost 43 per cent of cases. 
In about one out of six incidents, the RCMP applied the stun gun three times. In 31 cases, the suspect was zapped seven or more times. The investigation also revealed that in 2,200 of the 3,000 RCMP Taser incidents between 2002 and 2007, the person the Mounties were dealing with was unarmed. from the Globe
And last Friday, Taser International the makers of the controversial stun guns used by police forces across Canada, the U.S. lost it's first case.
A US federal jury has held Taser International responsible for the death of a Salinas man in U.S. District Court in San Jose on Friday, and awarded his family more than $6 million in punitive and compensatory damages. An attorney for the family called the verdict a “landmark decision,” and indicated that it was the first time Taser International had been held responsible for a death or injury linked to its product. NY Times.
It appears now that it is going to take longer to get the correct spin. After all it is not about government culpability, it is about public safety, right Mr. Day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Somehow I doubt that Day has enough balls to ban or severely curtail Taser use. Nor will the 4 RCMP guys who killed Dziekanski be held accountable for his murder.