Prob­lems with the Taser not go­ing away

The Compass - - OPINION -

Dear ed­i­tor,

On Feb. 24, the Cana­dian Po­lice As­so­ci­a­tion and Cana­dian Po­lice Chiefs As­so­ci­a­tions made a news release whereby they wanted to arm all of their po­lice with Tasers. When asked the ques­tion about the safety of the Tasers in light of the fact a lot of peo­ple have been killed by them, their an­swer was there has never been any proof that any­one was ever killed by a Taser.

The to­bacco in­dus­try has been telling us for years that to­bacco does not pose a health risk, de­spite the fact we have lost mil­lions of peo­ple due to the poi­sons in to­bacco.

I my­self would not be writ­ing this let­ter if I had not given up smok­ing. And now the Taser com­pany, with the help of the Po­lice Force are try­ing to con­vince the politi­cians and gen­eral pub­lic that TASERS are safe.

There was a time when our Po­lice Force was revered and trusted, but I be­lieve the pub­lic is los­ing faith and trust in them. Ev­ery time there is an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a Taser death the po­lice and the Taser Com­pany does their best to con­vince us that it was not the Taser.

A prime ex­am­ple is the death of Robert Dziekan­ski in Van­cou­ver, where the po­lice de­nied any wrong­do­ing. They ac­cused him of be­ing armed with a sta­pler, and four bur­ley po­lice of­fi­cers could not han­dle one man with a sta­pler (give me a break) and Tasered him four more times when he is down.

As I write this there is an in­ves­ti­ga­tion on­go­ing into the Robert Kziekan­ski death. We have the per­son that took the pic­tures that day to thank for that. He in my opin­ion is a hero. Even af­ter the pic­tures were re­leased, the po­lice are still try­ing to deny any wrong­do­ing and would have cov­ered ev­ery­thing up.

Now I have no prob­lem with a hard­ened crim­i­nal be­ing shot or Tasered, es­pe­cially when a po­lice of­fi­cer is in dan­ger. But when you have peo­ple that are be­ing Tasered for mis­de­meanours, or have peo­ple like Robert Dziekan­ski that did noth­ing wrong be­ing killed, then I have a se­ri­ous prob­lem with the Taser and most of all with our Po­lice Force. And the worst of all is that the Po­lice Forces try to deny or cover up ev­ery in­ci­dent.

It’s time for our po­lice forces to smarten up and try to re­store our faith in them be­cause af­ter all we do need them to make our so­ci­ety a bet­ter place to live in.

There has to be an in­de­pen­dent task force when in­ves­ti­gat­ing wrong­do­ing by our po­lice in or­der to get at the truth be­cause there is al­ways the ten­dency to look af­ter your own.

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