The Star [LINK]
OTTAWA – The RCMP has shifted its Taser policy, now training its officers that use of the stun gun poses a risk of death "particularly for acutely agitated individuals."
In the past, the RCMP had suggested using the weapon was appropriate in cases where "resistant" individuals could be subdued in order for them to be given medical attention. "We no longer allow that," RCMP Commissioner William Elliott told a parliamentary committee this morning.
The new policy also says use of the Taser must be "reasonable" in circumstances where otherwise a firearm would be used. Elliott said it should now only be used where there is "lethal overwatch" or where another police officer is standing by ready to shoot his gun at an individual if the Taser fails to subdue the suspect.
The new instructions also warn of the "hazards of multiple deployment or continuous cycling" of the weapon.
Elliott's explanations did not satisfy Opposition MPs who suggested the RCMP still hasn't tightened its controls enough in response to a report by the public safety committee last year. NDP MP Jack Harris said "threats to public safety" is a vague phrase open to interpretation.
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