The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association is calling on the Solicitor General of British Columbia to issue a moratorium on the use of the Taser gun in British Columbia until such time as uniform standards for training, use and accountability are enshrined and enforced in law, and research confirms that the staggering accidental death rate associated with Tasers can be significantly reduced.
BCCLA President Jason Gratl: “Policing will not grind to a halt without the Taser. It is only one among a wide array of intermediate force options available to police. I don’t understand how Minister Les could fail to be moved by these plainly undeserved deaths.”
The B.C. Police Complaint Commissioner released Interim (2004) and Final (2005) reports on Taser technology undertaken on his behalf by the Victoria Police Department. The authors of the Interim Report recommended the creation and implementation of provincial standardized training and testing to prevent officers from using the Taser in contexts that involve a risk of serious injury or death. The standards either don’t exist or must be reviewed in light of continuing problems. Furthermore, standards must apply equally to the RCMP and municipal police in B.C. Without an immediate moratorium, Minister Les and his Director of Police Services, Kevin Begg, will have to take responsibility for any future deaths.