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The justice system in Canada moves slowly but this just in from the CBC:

“The girl, whom Kennedy identified as “Miss X” in his report, was a 15-year-old inmate at the Arctic Tern Young Offenders Facility in Inuvik when on March 13, 2007, she was subdued with an RCMP Taser while she was handcuffed and held face-down on the floor by jail staff.”

Well isn’t that nice.  Yet another case of a taser being misused by police.

“Kennedy said the officer who used the stun gun, Const. Noella Cockney, had been called to the youth facility by staff who said the girl was not co-operating with their orders to go into a segregated area.

After Cockney gave Miss X several warnings, the girl swore at her and told her to go ahead and use the electric stun gun. The officer “deployed the Taser for a full five-second cycle, causing Miss X to co-operate,” according to the report.”

Here is what gets me.  According to the above report the girl swore at her and told her to go ahead and zap her.  I have personal experience in working with highly charged situations with youth.  One must always remember to remain in control of your own emotions and thought processes despite the fact your heart is beat a million beats per minute and your nervous system has you jacked up and ready to react to the presented stimulus.

Was Miss X asking for it?  Should that even enter into the equation?  Especially after being handcuffed and restrained by two other individuals.  As the chairman of the Commission for the Complaints against the RCMP, Paul Kennedy, states:

“You’re in a custodial situation; you’re not going to go very far. You’re handcuffed — that’s a problem — [and] you’re lying on your stomach and with three people holding you down. So obviously there’s no need for it.”

Kids have a knack for getting under your skin, and if you let them, you give them control of the situation.  I would like to put forth the assumption that this is what happened in this case.  The Miss X, the youth, pissed off the constable off and she reacted with more force than was necessary to subdue her.  Something was amiss as later in the news story it was reported that there was two versions of the incident:

“Cockney [the constable involved with Miss X] filed a report after the incident, but it was undated and printed nine months later. Kennedy said that report did not provide any detail on what Miss X was doing to justify using the Taser.

Cockney was not certified to use a Taser at the time, as her qualifications had expired about a year before, Kennedy found.”

Huh.  Two versions of the truth, again.   This particular case seems to have a fair amount of CYA involved, but still the two reports are indicative the incident was not handled ‘by the book’.

I wonder how many more people will have to be subjected to electro-torture before we realize that stun-guns should not be in the hands of our police forces.

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December 2009


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