RCMP policy says Tasers can kill, restricts use


SUE BAILEY
The Canadian Press
February 13, 2009

OTTAWA – RCMP policy changes acknowledge that Taser stun guns can kill – especially “acutely agitated” suspects – and will now restrict their use to cases involving threats to officers or public safety.

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RCMP Commissioner William Elliott says the new rules clearly set out that Mounties can’t zap suspects for simple resistance or refusing to co-operate.

Tasers “hurt like hell,” he said Thursday of his own reaction to a trial firing. And their use must be justified as a necessary and reasonable use of force, he told MPs on the Commons public safety committee.

“The RCMP’s revised (Taser) policy underscores that there are risks associated with the deployment of the device and emphasizes that those risks include the risk of death, particularly for agitated individuals.”

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