Montreal police buy more stun guns
Decision follows fatal shooting of homeless man
Montreal police are getting more electronic stun guns, saying the decision was made after officers fatally shot a homeless man last February.
Twelve new stun guns have been purchased by the force, bringing the total number of devices to 70.
A spokesman says the devices will not replace other police techniques.
“This is not the miracle tool and there's a reason why we don't have too many,” said Cmdr. Ian Lafrenière. “It's not useful in all situations.”
On February 3, officers shot and killed 41-year-old Alain Magloire, after responding to reports of a man wielding a hammer and acting aggressively in the vicinity of Montreal's central bus station on Berri Street.
This is not the miracle tool.- Montreal Police Commander Ian Lafreniere
Magloire was a former molecular biology researcher, had only recently ended up on the streets as a result of mental illness.
His brother told CBC Daybreak’s Mike Finnerty that using fewer lethal devices is an improvement, but it won't help people with mental health problems.
“We're tasing them, and we're pepper spraying them. And when people are suffering from mental health, we're shooting them. Is that the kind of society we want to be?” said Pierre Magloire.
This week, a Montreal coroner recommended that the police department have more stun guns on hand.
The coroner also recommended a new policy to force officers to call an ambulance as soon as they think the devices may be used.
This is not the first time a Quebec coroner has recommended Montreal police carry stun guns. In 2012, a coroner said two men who were killed in a 2011 police shooting might still be alive if officers had been equipped with the devices at at the time.
Lafrenière says the stun guns will be deployed to patrolling officers in the next several days.