Justice Thomas Braidwood told reporters at a press conference Thursday: "Our society is better off with [tasers]."
Not up to now.
Unwarranted death of victims traded-off for what is often just a tool of police convenience is a horrifying trade-off. The risk of death shouldn't be crossing that boundary from the side of seriously threatening the police with credible and grievous bodily harm. That's why Canadian society has been in such an uproar over the real-world results with tasers.
Perhaps in the future the promises would be achieved without stepping all over people's basic rights. But this will happen only if each and every one of the Braidwood recommendations is fully embraced and implemented. And that result can only be judged by watching for an approximately 95% reduction in taser usage.
But look at the track record...
House of Commons SECU committee recommendations: ignored, then partial adopted.
RCMP Watchdog recommendations: partially and begrudgingly adopted.
We are moving slowly in the correct direction.
But it would have been a lot faster to slap on a taser moratorium to capture certain folks attention, and then perhaps allow taser use under the severely-restricted rules that almost everyone would agree to (per Braidwood's recommendations).
As it is, it is probably going to be a long slow drift to a new set-point about half-way along the evil-to-good spectrum.
It may require another future taser death of someone (in Canada), someone not meeting Braidwood's criteria, to generate another storm of outrage.
But the foundation for future improvements has been laid.
Tasers "...can cause death...".
Once that conceptual change is fully embraced, then everything else will - eventually - follow.
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