RCMP officers reduce their use of Tasers
The Mounties are deploying conducted-energy weapons less often in the wake of the 2007 death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski and a provincial judicial inquiry into the police use of Tasers. On September 19, the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP released a report showing a 26.4 percent drop in the use of conducted-energy weapons by the Mounties in 2010, compared to the previous year.
There was an increase in the number of times the Mounties threatened to use the devices on youths, but the number of discharges remained low. According to the report, this suggests that the RCMP are using these weapons as a “means of deterrence or de-escalation, without the device being deployed”.
The commission has issued five recommendations. One calls for the RCMP to ensure that its policy and training reminds Mounties not to use stun guns when the “subject is displaying Cooperative or Passive Resistant behaviour”.
Instead, conducted-energy weapons “should be used only on subjects who are displaying active resistance, assaultive behaviour, or who are acting in a manner deemed harmful to themselves and/or others (grievous bodily harm).”