RCMP to limit Taser use after critical report
The RCMP announced Friday it will enforce new rules to limit the use of Taser stun guns, just two days after a report criticized the Mounties for using the weapons unnecessarily in too many situations.
Canada's national police force has outlined clearer guidelines that restrict the use of stun guns to cases in which "a subject is displaying combative behaviours or is being actively resistant."
The policy change comes on the heels of a report from the force's watchdog, the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP. Head of the commission Paul Kennedy released his recommendations on Wednesday, stopping short of calling for a moratorium on use of the weapon.
Kennedy criticized the RCMP for failing to manage theapplication of Tasers, saying the lack of enforcement over the past six years has led to a drastic increase of cases where officers were firing the 50,000-volt weapons to subdue "clearly non-combative" people.
Kennedy's 53-page report said the stun gun should only be used when suspects pose a risk of "death or grievous bodily harm."
His report was commissioned after an international furor surrounding the case of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski, who died Oct. 14 after he was repeatedly shocked by a Taser and pinned to the floor by RCMP officers at Vancouver International Airport.
Dziekanski is recorded as the 18th person in Canada to die in recent years after being hit by a Taser.
Taser International, makers of the device,claim that the weapons have never been directlylinked toa causeof death.
With files from the Canadian Press