According to the Globe and Mail, Vancouver Metro Transit officials feel it is within their guidelines to taser riders who refuse to pay for public transportation: in 18 months, the taser was used 10 times. I’m in awe.
An internal review of the incident concluded that the action taken by transit police officers complied with the force’s policy and was within guidelines “set out in the National Use of Force Model,” the report said.
“To apply a taser on someone fleeing the scene while trying to evade a fine is, quite frankly, an outrageous abuse of this weapon,” Mr. Mollard said.
“Do we really need police officers with guns and tasers using them in the context of fare evasion? I don’t think so. This really is very hard to believe.”
Yesterday, the head of the RCMP admitted the police force did not do a good job making information public about taser use, and vowed that changes will be made.
“Frankly we did not handle this matter very well,” Commissioner William Elliott told the Canadian Club of Ottawa. “We should not have needed two kicks at the can. We must learn from that and do better.”
The taser controversy will be in the spotlight again today – the mother of Robert Dziekanski, the Polish immigrant who died after being tasered by the RCMP last year at Vancouver International Airport, is expected to testify before a parliamentary committee in Ottawa.
This is what I imagine a tasering would look/feel like on the skytrain (and, overall, just looks pretty cool):