Tasers don't kill people -- police do (National Post)
Friday October 12th, 2012
An all-party committee of the B.C. legislature heard yesterday that Taser use in the province has dropped 87% since 2007 — the year Robert Dziekanski died after being Tasered by police at the Vancouver International Airport. B.C. police used the weapon 85 times last year, compared to 640 in 2007. This raises troubling questions: Was it necessary for police to use the weapon as often as they did in 2007? How are police subduing people if they rely less on conducted energy weapons? Are they shooting guns more often?
As it turns out, the committee was told police shootings have not gone up, despite earlier warnings that without Tasers police might feel vulnerable. Instead, they’re using their words. According to a CBC report, a justice ministry official said police “appear to be relying more heavily on verbal skills and physical tools other than Tasers when dealing with potentially dangerous situations.”