The girl was convicted of assault after being TASERed. That’s disgusting and, sadly, to be expected. She probably lifted an arm to shield herself. If you’re ever attacked by police, you’d best turn turtle and shield your head with your arms or you will be charged with assaulting a god an officer. Maybe even then.
February 3, 2009
Teenage girl, father sue OPP for $500,000 over incident in jail cell
|Prescience: The electric staff torture scene from George Lucas’ chillingly brilliant dystopia, THX- 1138|
Ontario’s child advocate has recommended the provincial police force ban the use of stun guns on minors unless someone’s life is in danger.
The call comes after a teenager was shocked in the Sioux Lookout OPP detachment cell last summer. The 15-year-old female, who cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was picked up by Ontario Provincial Police for underage drinking following an altercation at a July 2008 party.
The teen, who was 14 at the time and has fetal alcohol syndrome, was waiting in the jail cell for a court hearing.
Her father, who also cannot be identified, said his daughter was picking paint off the cell walls out of boredom. Police warned her to stop and when she didn’t, her father said officers entered her cell, held her down by both arms and shot her with a stun gun.
“They put her down, they took out something black and the next thing you know, there was a scream. Why would they do that? She wasn’t doing anything wrong, just scratching on the wall,” he said.
According to police documents, officers said they were forced to subdue her with the stun gun after she attacked them.
She was later convicted of assaulting a police officer during the incident.
Inappropriate response: child advocate
Her father says he didn’t see any evidence of violence on her part when he watched the police videotape of the incident and launched a complaint against the OPP. He and his daughter are also suing the police force for $500,000.
The OPP will not comment on the case because of the lawsuit; however, an internal investigation by the OPP’s professional standards bureau found the complaint was unsubstantiated due to insufficient evidence.
Lawyers for the force are expected to file a statement of defence during the next few days, which could offer more information on the case.
Ontario Child Advocate Irwin Elman said the police response was not appropriate.
“When I saw the tape, we had a young person who was peeling paint off the wall of a police holding cell with her fingernail and she was quiet and on a cot,” he said. “And our estimation, the use of a Taser was not proportional to the need to protect, I guess, the paint on the wall.”
Elman said the police force should suspend its use of stun guns on youth until more information is known about their effects.
“We’re asking for a moratorium on the use of Tasers on children and youth, certainly in our province, until there’s established, full research about their use on children and youth,” he said.
According to a recent RCMP audit, as many as 90 people under the age of 16 across the country were shocked by stun guns between 2001-2008, said Elman.
“It’s hard to tell … how much that happens in Ontario’s police holding cells or elsewhere because there’s no real transparent oversight on the use of Tasers.”
OPP Insp. Dave Ross say the force hasn’t seen Elman’s recommendations but will review and consider them.
“We’re always reviewing our policies and procedures with any practices we do in the OPP to ensure we’re delivering the best services we can to the communities, but still fulfilling our mandate of public safety,” he said.
Debate over stun guns
Jeff Roberts, a lawyer for the father and daughter, said stun guns are no longer weapons of last resort, but are being used by police as a method of pain compliance. [Ed. Note: In other words, torture.]
Roberts calls that cruel and unusual treatment that is forbidden under international law.
“It’s unnecessary and extremely cruel. Would you like me to stick your kid’s finger in a light socket?” he said.
The use of stun guns on young people has been under debate across the country following a number of incidents:
* New Brunswick banned the use of the weapons on youth prisoners last year after an 18-year-old female was stunned twice while jailed in Saint John.
* Michael Langan, 17, died last July after Winnipeg police shot him with a stun gun after an altercation with officers.
* RCMP in the Northwest Territories are investigating their use of a stun gun on a teenage girl at a youth detention centre in Inuvik in 2007.
* A Halifax Youth Court judge criticized three police officers for their arrest of a teenage girl, who was tackled in her own bed and shocked twice with a stun gun in February 2007.
Paul Kennedy, chairman of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, who also issued a report on RCMP Taser use, said using a Taser must be a proportionate response to the threat officers feel they are encountering,
“Just on the face of it, I find it difficult personally to consider a threat by a 13-year-old female or 14-year-old male to necessarily constitute a threat of that nature,” he told CBC News.
“But the context obviously would be what would determine whether or not it’s appropriate,” he said.
Testimony is also continuing at an inquiry into the October 2007 death of Robert Dziekanski, a 40-year-old Polish immigrant who died after being stunned several times at Vancouver International Airport.
Source | See Also under Tasers: Emergency call taken out of context: airport Taser death witness | RCMP destroyed evidence, charges dismissed in second torture case for officers | U.S. study raises more questions about TASER safety | Second phase of Taser inquiry begins in Vancouver | RCMP watchdog launches new Taser probe around deaths | Police forces withhold information on Taser use from public: audit | US police could get ‘pain beam’ weapons | No charges to be laid against RCMP officers in airport Taser death | RCMP to face no charges in case of TASERed Polish immigrant: Report | Taser International disputes CBC/Radio-Canada testing as ‘flawed’ | Red Deer man shot by Taser had pre-existing heart condition: doctor | Cops Taser Drowned Dad’s Distraught Son | Amnesty urges moratorium on Taser use after CBC/Radio-Canada probe | Some tested Tasers fire stronger current than company says: CBC/Radio-Canada probe | RCMP Investigates, Clears Self of Wrongdoing in Case of TASERed Inuvik Girl | US Cops Tase 54 Year Old Woman For Sitting In Wrong Seat At Football Game | Prison service ices TASER pilot project | B.C. man dies after Taser used during Calgary arrest | Mountie involved in fatal crash was supervisor at time of airport Taser death | Drug abuser executed by TASER blasts – TASER toll stands at 25 | Mountie arrested in fatal crash present at airport Taser death | Inquiry into Vancouver airport Taser death put off 2nd time | Tasers being used for pain compliance during interrogation, suit alleges | Family sues police claiming Taser raid on autistic son in own bedroom | Naked Langley, B.C., robbery suspect dies after Taser jolt | Tasering of mom with baby ‘necessary’ in order to take child, police say | Brampton man is 23rd Canadian TASER death; police duly investigate themselves | RCMP didn’t study Taser use enough: Report | Probe into tasering of teenaged girl reopened | Police Taser and abuse suspect, lie on stand, man still convicted | RCMP should end use of Tasers: Zaccardelli | Police delay report on Taser until 2009 | Mounties pinned me down in cell and tasered me, Manitoba girl says | 21st Canadian TASER death occurs in Winnipeg alleyway | RCMP e-mails throw Dziekanski Taser probe into question, critics say | Taser use could put police under fire | Inquiry says ‘insidious’ TASERs being used as tool of convenience, should be reclassified, restricted under criminal code | Man dies in custody after Taser incident involving Ontario police | Ban Tasers if RCMP doesn’t curb use by year’s end: Commons committee | One-third of people shot by Taser need medical attention: probe | RCMP firing Tasers multiple times at subjects, probe reveals | U.S. jury shocks Taser, investors, with rare loss in court | Youth Worker Subjected to Warrantless Raid on Secret Evidence | Tasering violated suspect’s rights, judge rules | RCMP willing to change Taser policy, inquiry told | Tasers pose risk to heart, MDs testify | ‘Peel and Stick’ Tasers Electrify Riot Control | Canadian police have been brainwashed, Taser inquiry told | Mounties censor Taser report | Taser group’s chair to defend stun guns at public inquiry | RCMP release heavily censored incident report about Dziekanski | Inquiry examining Taser use, Dziekanski’s death begins Monday | Chicago study calls Taser’s safety claims into question | Witness blames RCMP, Vancouver airport for death of Tasered man | Officer injured in Taser demonstration