After Taser International, Inc., issued a bulletin from its U.S. headquarters instructing users not to aim the weapon at the chest of a suspect to avoid impact to the heart, police in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Winnipeg, plus the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Ontario Provincial Police decided to comply.
This comes almost two years after Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski died at Vancouver International Airport. He was jolted by a Taser up to five times by the RCMP. Indeed, hundreds of people across North America have been killed by cops using the weapon. Toronto police admit to deploying Tasers on 122 people last year, including two 15-year olds.
John Tackaberry, spokesperson for Amnesty International in Canada, said adjusting where police aim their Tasers “isn’t a solution to the problem… it’s the impact the Tasers have on bodies.”
Paul Lochner, whose autistic brother George was Tasered by the Toronto emergency task force in 2006, agrees the change isn’t enough. He would like to see Tasers banned.
Ditto. The lesson here is that the cops are feeling the pressure of public outrage. The point is to keep it up. –Barry Weisleder