OTTAWA, June 18 (Reuters) - The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are using Taser electronic stun guns too often and should only fire them at suspects who pose a serious risk, the federal force’s watchdog said in a report on Wednesday.
The report was prompted by the case of a Polish immigrant who died shortly after Mounties shot him repeatedly with Tasers at Vancouver airport and then subdued him. The stun guns are made by Taser International Inc TASR.O.
Paul Kennedy, who chairs the commission on public complaints against the Mounties, said the Taser should only be used against individuals who were “combative” or posed a risk of “death or grievous bodily harm” to police.
He also said that only those above the rank of corporal should be issued the weapons in cities. In rural areas, where police levels are thinner, only members with five or more years’ evidence should be allowed to use Tasers. (Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Janet Guttsman)