RCMP watchdog probes N.W.T. Taser incident involving teen

Federal investigators said Monday they will look into the RCMP's use of a stun gun on a teenage girl in Inuvik, N.W.T., last year.

Federal investigators said Monday they will look into the RCMP's use of a stun gun on a teenage girl in Inuvik, N.W.T., last year.

The Commission for Public Complaints against the RCMP will investigate not only the March 2007 incident at the Arctic Tern Young Offenders Facility in Inuvik, but also the police force's reviews of the incident.

Commission chairman Paul Kennedy launched the probe, citing "expressions of public concern over the degree and type of force required by police when subduing individuals" with Tasers, according to a release posted on the commission's website Monday.

The girl, who was an inmate at the Arctic Tern centre, was subdued by a Taser while handcuffed on the ground on March 13, 2007.

Aggression reported

Corrections officials have said the teen was acting so aggressively that staff called in an RCMP officer, who used the electrical stun gun on her.

The girl, 15 at the time, cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Two RCMP investigations, as well as a probe by the territorial Justice Department, cleared authorities of any wrongdoing.

But CBC News learned that at least one of the police investigations was conducted by an officer who worked in the Inuvik RCMP detachment with the officer who used the Taser.

The Commission for Public Complaints is an independent, civilian-run agency created by Parliament to ensure complaints made by the public about RCMP members' conduct are examined fairly and impartially.

A spokesperson for the commission said it learned of the Inuvik Taser incident through a story on CBC Radio last week.