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Enough With The Fucking Tasers Already


This is getting stupid. In Chilliwack, B.C. yesterday a man was wrestled, hit with batons, pepper-sprayed and tasered by Mounties. From the Vancouver Province:

RCMP went to the 45800-block of Airport Road after receiving complaints of a man acting erratically in a Chilliwack rental store on Monday.

The 29-year-old man, who is known to police, became "extremely agitated, aggressive and combative" at the outlet, said RCMP Assistant Commissioner Peter German.

"The pepper spray, the baton and the Taser were all engaged. To what extent any of them had any effect on the individual, again, we don't know at this point, but that's what the investigation will be looking at."

Well geez, mystery of mysteries. Pepper spray, taser, baton... critical condition. Connection? Too early to say.

Luckily for everyone involved, the victim isn't dead this time:

The man was "vocal and conscious" after the arrest, said German.

He could not say how many times the Taser was used and whether the other weapons also contributed to the man's injuries.

Commissioner German goes on to say:

"Any police officer, and I include myself in that, is always reluctant to use physical force and it's always a last resort to use physical force. You try to deal with people in a non-aggressive manner. But there's a reason why we are armed."

But that reluctance is exactly what having a weapon like the taser negates. You're reluctant to use a gun because you might kill someone. To use the baton because someone might end up bloody. But the taser doesn't kill most of the time, nor does it leave the victim visibly bloody or battered. It leaves marks, but usually under clothing where the cops, and any witnesses who happen to be around won't immediately see them.

Besides this incident and the one in which Robert Dziekanski died, there is this, and this, and this, and this.. and many more. In fact, in Canada at least 18 people have died after being shocked by a taser since they were introduced in 1999.

As far back as 2004, Amnesty International did a study on taser abuse by Canadian and US police. These abuses have been happening now for years. According to AI (referring to Canadian cops):
...there is currently a review by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police into police use of tasers...

And what was the conclusion of this review? Nothing, it seems. A search on the C.A.C.P. website of resolutions adopted in 2004, 05 and 06 for 'taser' and 'stun gun' turned up nothing. Zip.

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