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Monday, March 24, 2008 

Massive Increase In Taser Use By Police - RCMP Unfazed And Respond By Saying, 'SO'?

"The number of incidents involving RCMP stun guns has more than doubled since 2005, according to records obtained by CBC News.

Statistics prepared by RCMP officers on the use of stun guns, or Tasers, show Mounties across the country drew or threatened to draw their Tasers more than 1,400 times last year — a dramatic rise in incidents, compared with 597 in 2005.

The spike was greatest in jurisdictions such as British Columbia, where the number of Taser incidents rose from 218 in 2005 to 496 in 2007, and in Alberta, where it grew from 89 to 371 over the same period.
[...]

But while reliance on stun guns has increased sharply since the force began using them in 2001, documents obtained under the federal Access to Information Act indicate that record-keeping about Taser incidents has either become less comprehensive or that the RCMP is unwilling to share all the details of the cases with the public. [...]

But records recently released to the CBC and the Canadian Press have been stripped of this information, as well as the precise date of each incident, actions taken by the officer before resorting to the Taser, and whether the stun gun caused any injuries — leading some to criticize the RCMP for a lack of transparency. The head of the Commission for Complaints Against the RCMP, Paul Kennedy, said the RCMP is contradicting itself by not providing the additional information at the same time that it seeks to assure the public that police are being responsive to concerns about Tasers."

CBC News

I guess the RCMP is learning about the new accountability regime from the Harper government!
The moral of this piece is that the best way to keep information from the public is not to collect it in the first place!

"For their part, Canadian police say Tasers have saved 4,000 lives since police forces started using them."

Oh. Really. So if Tasers had not been in use at all, 4000 people would have lost their lives. Why not 40,000 or 400,000, as long as we're throwing out unsubstantiated, unprovable statistics?

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