Of course they do. Should come in handy if the IMF riots ever hit Canada. Now let’s have a look at those figures quoted in the article. 0.8% of 1.5% of 800,000 TASER ‘involvement’ incidents equals 180 incidents in 2007 alone. Since their introduction, about 30 people have been killed in close proximity to a TASER – of course, it’s mere speculation to say the TASER was directly responsible for the death, as Mr. Momy is quick to point out, so let’s run with the ‘indirect’ theory and say our quick totting up applies to TASER proximity. This article seems to indicate we’ve been keeping track of such deaths since 2003. That’s six years ago. Of course, there are more TASERs in circulation now than there were in 2003, but let’s divide 6 into 30 equally, for a very conservative five deaths per year. 5 into 180 gives us a fatality rate of 3%. Or we can just look at the results of a probe which concluded that a full third of people shot by a TASER need medical attention. That doesn’t sound as though they’re a particularly safe device to have nearby. And the fact that the CAPC apparently buries its own research at the behest of TASER International does not fill us with confidence in their objectivity.
Flashback: U.S. jury shocks Taser, investors, with rare loss in court | Tasers pose risk to heart, MDs testify | Chicago study calls Taser’s safety claims into question | Officer injured in Taser demonstration
February 24, 2009
|Canadian Police Association President Charles Momy -”no evidence” of harm by TASERs.|
Canada’s two main police associations defended the use of Tasers on Tuesday, saying all officers should be equipped with stun guns because they save lives and there is no proof they have been directly responsible for civilian deaths.
“We reiterate that to date, there is no evidence, either scientific or medical, that a conducted-energy weapon has been the direct cause of death anywhere, at any time, on any person,” Chief Tom Kaye, vice-president of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, said in a news conference in Ottawa.
The Canadian Police Association and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, representing chiefs and rank-and-file officers, said the public has been subjected to “inaccurate and incomplete” information on electrical stun guns and they want to dispel some myths related to their use.
The bottom line is that [conducted-energy weapons] saves lives,” said Charles Momy, president of CPA.
“They certainly enhance public safety and officer safety. It is our position that all police officers should be authorized to carry CEWs,” Momy said, adding that officers should also be provided with regular and adequate use-of-force training.
The associations say the weapon should only be used if there’s a threat to the police officer or a threat to the public.
“There has to be some active resistance on people’s behalf. It’s got to be some kind of assaultive, combative behaviour,” said Kaye, who is chief of the Owen Sound, Ont., police force.
The device should not be used in passive-resistance cases, said Kaye. He acknowledged that police may have used it in those types of cases in the past.
“They may have allowed it be used more as a compliance device. We’re suggesting that that’s not correct,” he said, adding that there needs to be a better job done of reporting and tracking the use of the device.
Taser target died at airport
Police use of Tasers generated intense public concern after Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski died at Vancouver International Airport more than a year ago. An RCMP officer hit Dziekanski with a Taser shortly before his death.
British Columbia called an inquiry that has been looking at the use of Tasers and the circumstances surrounding Dziekanski’s death.
Kaye wouldn’t comment on the Dziekanski case or whether he believed a Taser was responsible for his death. He pointed out, however, that there have been 150 studies and reviews around the world, none of which, he said, suggest anyone has died from being zapped with a Taser.
Kaye raised the “in-custody death syndrome,” in which people who have been pepper-sprayed or just held down by officers have died in police custody.
However, in 1989, a Canadian study found that stun guns induced heart attacks in pigs with pacemakers. Ten years later, an American study concluded that weapons delivering a jolt weaker than Tasers increased the risk of cardiac arrest in people with heart conditions.
In July 2005, a Chicago medical examiner ruled that the death of a man in February 2005 was the result of being shot with a Taser by Chicago police.
Media reports said it was the first time a death had been linked directly to a police stun gun, although the medical examiner said the victim also had a lot of methamphetamine in his system.
RCMP policy tightened
Earlier this month, RCMP Commissioner William Elliott told a House of Commons public safety committee that the force had revised its policy on the use of stun guns.
He said the new 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.”
But Kaye said the commissioner told him those comments were taken out of context.
Kaye also said the public is being led to believe that the weapons are used on a regular basis.
According to 2007 statistics, there were 3.3 million police service calls in Canada, with 800,000 that involved a “criminal occurrence,” he said. Of those, 98.5 per cent of the individuals were taken into custody with no force being used, he said.
Of the remaining cases, 0.8 per cent involved the use of a Taser, said Kaye, although he did not know how many of those situations involved drawing or deploying the weapon.
“You get some idea of how rare it is that police officers actually have to use any of the use-of-force options that they carry,” he said.
Source | See Also under Tasers: Dziekanski’s ‘combative behaviour’ justified Taser jolt: Mountie | Witness alters story but maintains Dziekanski attempted to staple RCMP | Airport refused help from Polish-speaking employee before Taser death | Dziekanski didn’t wield stapler before RCMP fired Taser, inquiry hears | Selkirk teen sues RCMP over stun gun allegations | Ban stun gun use on young people, Ontario child advocate urges | 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