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RCMP report shows improper taser use

The RCMP reported nine instances early last year where tasers were used and should not have been, according to its own policies on the use of the weapon.

In 2007, the RCMP restricted the use of tasers to situations where subjects actively resisted officers or were combative.

But tasers were used in eight situations where people were classified as "passive resistant" and in one situation where the person was classified as "co-operative," according to an RCMP report released last week.

"It appears there was violation of the RCMP's internal policy," said Sgt. Tim Shields, media relations officer for the RCMP's B.C. division.

He said that a report has to be filed whenever a taser is "presented," regardless of whether the weapon is actually used on anyone. It was not specified in this report whether the nine subjects were tasered or not.

David Eby, executive director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, said he is concerned that officers violated the use of force policy.

"The BCCLA is calling for a mortatoirum on taser use until sufficient testing is done to ensure they are safe, and national policies are in place to ensure they are used properly."

Nelson Kalil, spokesperson for the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, said the commission has had longstanding concerns for years on improper use of tasers.

He said the commission is preparing a full analysis of RCMP taser use in 2007 that is expected to be released in March. It will be an independent analysis based on RCMP submissions.

"We will highlight these transgressions of policy," said Kalil. "We can make our recommendations clear to the RCMP. We don't have an enforcement capacity."

Last week, the commission released its Find more in:

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