Short version: In December 2007, Nicholas Ashe was attending a staff party at a sports bar He stepped outside for a smoke. Police arrived, made stupidly-incorrect assumptions, and violently arrested him. He was tasered twice for no apparent reason. He was then charged with "assaulting a police officer" and "obstructing justice", but those classic taser abuse 'cover charges' were dismissed in court. Judge explicitly stated that he believed Ashe's version of events over that of the police. See [LINK].
[Based only on what I have read about this incident and my understanding of human nature, I doubt that the police would have benefitted from wearing video recording equipment.]
Calgary Police are now facing a $100,000 or more lawsuit. Given the findings to date, they find themselves in a position where they can only negotiate the amount.
My advice to Ashe is to offer a moderate discount ONLY if the settlement cheque is accompanied by an open letter of apology that includes a specific admission of wrong-doing.
Governmental leaders and police decision makers need to realize that tasers and taser training seems to make police officers more violence prone and, frankly, stupid.
Quite some time ago I theorized that since the human central nervous system essentially runs on electricity, the taser trainees who experience a demonstration shot into the back end up with a short circuit from their buttocks to their brainstem. Post taser training, their thinking process appears to originate from their arse. Although it's just a joke, it seems to be a good working hypothesis to explain the real-world outcomes.
More seriously, where is it written that the police are permitted to brush off the serious implications of legal rulings? The judge ruled that he believed Ashe's version of the incident. And the criminal charges against Ashe were dismissed. Therefore, the most likely explanation is that there was serious wrong-doing by the police, and those criminal charges against Ashe were an attempt to cover up the police wrong-doing. If this simple logic is true, then these police actions are crimes multiplied by crimes.
Why are the police allowed to brush off these rulings?
Without consequences, there is no justice.
And at this stage, it shouldn't just be left up to a civil lawsuit to pursue financial compensation. The Attorney General (or similar) should get in there and investigate. And press criminal charges if appropriate. Of course, police and prosecutors often consider themselves to be playing on the same team. So asking them to apply the law equally is a tall order.
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