Report calls for more Tasers for police
The timing is curious, the recommendation highly controversial. At the same time the Taser's safety is under scrutiny at the Braidwood inquiry, there's a new call to put hundreds more Tasers in the hands of police officers across the country.
Despite video evidence of people dying shortly after being Tasered, the Canadian Association of Police Chiefs and the Canadian Police Association insist Tasers save lives, and want to put the controversial weapon in the hands of officers across the country.
The head of B.C.'s Police Association agrees it's the right way to go.
"When people are not compliant, when they are actively aggressive, when they are violent, we have to use force to gain control because that's what the public expects," said Tom Stamatakis.
Right now, about 120 Vancouver police officers have a Taser, most of them are on patrol.
Stamatakis wants all 550 patrol officers to have one.
This when the RCMP recently moved to restrict Taser use, and some police forces have removed them from front-line officers Stamatakis says that's not just a mistake, it's reckless.
What I would say is it's almost a knee-jerk reaction to some of the negative commentary around the Taser," said Stamatakis.
The sister of a man who died after being jolted by a Taser in 2004, says the police are playing Russian roulette with people's lives.
"I would like to see the government put an immediate moratorium on the use of Tasers by any police forces in Canada until we sort out this mess," said Patti Gillman, the sister of Robert Bagnell.
Despite all the confusion, the solicitor general says B.C. is working toward a uniform policy.
"When you look at the policies, they are actually pretty similar," said John van Dongen.
Van Dongen will wait until the end of the Braidwood inquiry before making a final decision on Tasers.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Leah Hendry.