Mission Statement - De-Spinning the Pro-Taser Propaganda

Yeah right, 'Excited Delirium' my ass...


The primary purpose of this blog is to provide an outlet for my observations and analysis about tasers, taser "associated" deaths, and the behaviour exhibited by the management, employees and minions of Taser International. In general, everything is linked back to external sources, often via previous posts on the same topic, so that readers can fact-check to their heart's content. This blog was started in late-2007 when Canadians were enraged by the taser death of Robert Dziekanski and four others in a short three month period. The cocky attitude exhibited by the Taser International spokespuppet, and his preposterous proposal that Mr. Dziekanski coincidentally died of "excited delirium" at the time of his taser-death, led me to choose the blog name I did and provides my motivation. I have zero financial ties to this issue.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Montreal recommended tough taser-use policy

Montreal Public Safety Commission
Tasers / Stun-guns - Advantages and disadvantages
Report submitted to council June 14, 2010 and Metro council June 17, 2010

R-1 - La commission recommande au conseil d’agglomération : QUE le SPVM bonifie son programme de formation des policiers en ce qui concerne les techniques et stratégies d’intervention auprès de personnes souffrant de problèmes de santé mentale, qu’elles soient agitées ou confuses, de personnes intoxiquées ou encore de personnes violentes ou en état de crise.
R-2 - La commission recommande au conseil d’agglomération : QUE la procédure d'utilisation de l'AIÉ ayant cours au SPVM soit revue de manière à y inclure les éléments suivants : • toute personne fortement agitée, confuse et/ou intoxiquée doit être considérée comme une urgence médicale; • confrontés à cette situation et avant même toute intervention, les policiers feront appel à Urgence-psychosociale-Justice et/ou aux ambulanciers; • l’AIÉ ne pourra être utilisée que dans les situations pour lesquelles il y a risque de mort ou de blessures graves du policier ou de la personne visée, en privilégiant d’abord d’autres moyens d’intervention; • si l’AIÉ doit être utilisée à l’encontre de personnes fortement agitées, confuses et/ou intoxiquées, le policier doit limiter son intervention à une seule décharge.
R-3 - Considérant que la commission souhaite obtenir des données qui permettront par la suite au conseil d’agglomération de pendre des décisions éclairées et de faire les représentations requises auprès du gouvernement du Québec en regard de la prestation de services en santé mentale : La commission recommande : QUE le SPVM lui soumette annuellement un rapport détaillé comprenant des informations quant aux personnes visées par l’AIÉ, que ce soit en mode démonstration, contact ou projection. Ces informations comprendront, entre autres, les éléments suivants : sexe, groupe d’âge, niveau de revenu, race/origine ethnique, niveau de scolarité, motif initial justifiant l’intervention policière, état mental, état d’intoxication et interventions préalables à l’utilisation de l’AIÉ.
R-4 - Considérant la demande de retrait de l’AIÉ formulée par la Coalition pour le retrait du Taser; Considérant que la commission de la sécurité publique souhaite évaluer la portée de ses recommandations précédentes avant de se prononcer et de recommander au conseil d’agglomération tout retrait éventuel de l’AIÉ de l’arsenal du SPVM ; La commission recommande : QUE le SPVM obtienne l’avis de la commission de la sécurité publique préalablement à toute modification au protocole d’utilisation, à la formation et au nombre d’armes à impulsion électrique dont dispose le service.
Les recommandations ont été adoptées à la majorité en séance à huis clos le 4 juin 2010.
[Document on file]

En anglais (approximately, translation not certified) ...

Recommendation 1: ...Montreal Police should expand their program of police officer training in regards to intervention techniques and strategies of dealing with people suffering from mental health problems, the agitated or confused, intoxicated persons - violent or in crisis.

Recommendation 2: ...the operating procedure for l’arme à impulsion électrique (AIÉ) [stun-gun, taser] usage within Montreal Police be revised to include the following limitations:

[2a] • any person strongly agitated, confused and/or intoxicated must be considered medical emergency;

[2b] • in this situation, even before any intervention, the police will call for "Urgence-Psychosociale-Justice" [mental crisis professionals] and/or ambulance;

[2c] • The stun-gun can be used in situations where there is risk of death or serious injury of the officer or the person, focusing first other means of intervention;

[2d] • If the stun-gun is to be used against people highly agitated, confused and/or intoxicated, the officer must limit its use to a single discharge.

Recommendation 3: ...Montreal Police submit annually a detailed report including information about persons shocked by the stun-gun, either in demonstration mode, contact or projection. These information will include, inter alia, the following elements: sex, age group, level income, race/ethnicity, education level, initial reason justifying the police action, state mental state of intoxication and intervention prior to the use of the stun-gun.

Recommendation 4: Considering the demand of withdrawal of the stun-gun made by the Coalition for the withdrawal of the Taser; and considering that the Committee of Public Safety wishes to assess the scope of its previous recommendations before deciding and recommending to the Metro Board regarding the possible withdrawal of the stun-guns from the Montreal Police's arsenal. The Committee recommends that Montreal Police obtain the opinion of the Committee of Public Safety prior to any protocol amendment to use, training and the number of stun-guns [tasers] in service.

These recommendations were adopted by a majority in closed session on 4 June 2010.

The above recommendations are approximately what would be expected of those that have been paying attention to the findings of Justice Braidwood and other similar independent investigations.

Limiting the use of tasers to a single discharge (see 2d above) is hardly a ringing endorsement of the [false] claims of safety made by Taser International (Kroll, "Cardiac Safety") with respect to repeated taser hits.

Recommendation 2c calls for police to rely first on other methods of force. The Committee wouldn't make this recommendation if they were convinced that the taser was the best thing since sliced bread.

Considered in total, these recommendation do call for a fairly strict Taser Use Policy.

It's not perfect. But it's a pretty good first step.

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