RCMP shocked 16 people five times or more last year

16Apr09

taser-gunoriginally published: 8th April 2009

Despite a dramatic drop in the RCMP’s use of stun guns in 2008, the force is still zapping some suspects five times or more with the controversial weapon.

Mounties shocked at least 16 suspects with a Taser five or more times, according to analysis done by CBC/Radio-Canada and The Canadian Press of RCMP reports released through access to information requests. Ten of the cases topped five stuns. The most extreme example is an incident in southern B.C., where three officers from the Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment fired a Taser nine times on an unarmed person.

Another report indicated a suspect, who had been drinking heavily and acted aggressively, was jolted eight times. Two other cases involved seven deployments of a stun gun. “It’s obvious that officers in using [stun guns] don’t seem to have any serious restraints on multiple use,” said NDP MP Jack Harris, the party’s public safety critic. “And it has been clearly shown that multiple use leads to a greater danger.”

Multiple Taser use has come under increased public scrutiny since the high-profile 2007 death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski in the Vancouver International Airport, which is the subject of a public inquiry. He died after officers deployed a Taser five times in less than a minute.

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