Saturday, August 1, 2009

Follow new rules or lose tasers, Alberta police forces told

"Conducted energy weapons can be used only
when ‘real likelihood of injury to the officer, subject,
or bystanders'.
"

Much more serious discussion, reflection and official action have apparently has been going on in Alberta, Canada than in most jurisdictions in the United States.

The RCMP in British Columbia yesterday announced it has issued a directive to officers that says the direction of the solicitor-general is "complementary" to existing policy for the Mounties.

"In addition to current policy, we have additional directions from the solicitor-general that we will follow," Sergeant Tim Shields, a spokesman for the RCMP in B.C., said yesterday, explaining the RCMP's action.

Mr. Braidwood is in the midst of a two-phase inquiry on the police use of tasers and the death of Robert Dziekanski, who suffered a fatal heart attack on Oct. 14, 2007 after a confrontation with Mounties at Vancouver airport. Globe and Mail

Hat Tip to the Nateo, blog which says,
This headline demonstrates a perfect way to communicate with cops who've proved themselves untrustworthy with implements of torture:

Follow new rules or lose tasers, Alberta police forces told

Sometimes the only thing children understand is the loss of toys.

And to be sure, police should not be trusted unsupervised with tasers:

Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper is reporting that the Alberta Police Department must adhere to new Government guidelines or the police might be entirely relieved of these weapons.

Police in Alberta, including the RCMP, must adhere to new rules about when they can deploy tasers or face losing the weapons altogether, under government guidelines released Friday.

The 11 pages of regulations also say that it is appropriate to use conducted energy weapons, or CEWs, only when “there is a real likelihood of injury to the officer, subject, or bystanders.”

Fred Lindsay, Alberta Solicitor General and Minister of Public Security, said that while a suspect who is running away isn't a reasonable threat, someone in handcuffs or other restraints could still kick or bite. Globe and Mail

"Someone in hundcuffs or other restraints could still kick or bite", says the Minister of Public Safety, leaving me with the distinct impression that he is telegraphing to police and the public that police may still find or invent reasons to shock and electrocute people who are already virtually defenseless.

Meanwhile, police officials are claiming that they are already following the new regulations, which would seem to mean that any hopes for changes in officer behavior as a result of the new regulations will be hopes in vain:

He said Mounties in Alberta welcomed the new rules, adding that they are consistent with RCMP policy and enhance public trust.

Acting Superintendent Ray Robitaille said the Calgary Police Service is already following the guidelines.

Also read articles at these links about the ongoing debate in Cananda:

See also:

1 comment:

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