30 January 2008

Excessive Force?

There have been a number of incidents involving Tasers that strike the chord of being completely unnecessary. The story below is one of them. News stories have shown a few others, including one of an intoxicated woman being zapped three or four times, including once when she was already in the back of the police cruiser and a separate event in which a woman was Tasered in the back after walking away from the officer and then once again when she was on the ground. I remember these two incidents quite vividly, not only because of the excessive nature of the Taser's usage but also because women were involved. The other examples of "excessive force" by the police involving men seemingly were more necessary, as they featured aggressive men who would not submit to police requests otherwise; there were, of course, a couple of incidents that were not required and were unnecessary. The most famous example was the incident in which a man died in Vancouver last year after being Tasered at the airport. Perhaps it is time to lay out some guidelines as to when use of the device is necessary in order to limit future black marks against the law enforcement institution.

Police rapped for using Taser on girl in bedroom
Teen acquitted of assaulting cops
By STEVE BRUCE Court Reporter Wed. Jan 30 - 5:05 AM
A Dartmouth teen who was wrestled onto her bed and shocked twice by police last February was found not guilty Tuesday of assaulting officers and resisting arrest.
"The spectacle of a 17-year-old girl being Tasered in her bedroom is a very disturbing and disconcerting one," Judge Anne Derrick said in Halifax youth court. "I find the police acted outside the scope of their authority in arresting (the girl) and that she was entitled to resist and committed no offence in doing so, and I acquit her of the charges before the court."
The girl testified during the first day of the trial in November that being Tasered felt like having a "burning, open cut."

1 comment:

Chris said...

You are true "Paladins in the field". Keep up the good work

Great to see this group already established. I am hoping we can communicate and share some of your experiences. I have just started a WRC group in Mississauga,ON and have much to learn. I have good ideas, just need to find like minded volunteers and see where we can go.
My first initiative is outlined on my post at www.wrcmississauga.blogspot.com
Looking forward to possibly doing something with you one day, please contact me if you feel that you have something to offer me in way of advice and support.
Chris Wood - WRC Mississauga