Former inquiry chair ‘very impressed’ with B.C.’s response to Taser report

VICTORIA – The man who oversaw a high-profile public inquiry into Taser use following the death of Robert Dziekanski says he is “very impressed” with the British Columbia government’s response to his report, saying all of his recommendations have been addressed in some way.

Thomas Braidwood, whose public inquiry recommended tighter restrictions on how and when Tasers are used, has appeared at a legislative committee examining the use and regulation of the stun guns.

Braidwood walked the committee through his recommendations, including limiting the cases in which the weapon is used and changing the way officers are trained, and in each case he said he was satisfied with the response.

He says the fact that Taser use has declined in the province by 87 per cent since 2007 suggests the government and police officers are heeding his warning that the stun guns are dangerous.

Braidwood repeated his position that, while their use should be limited, Tasers are a valuable alternative to deadly force and society is better off with them.

The public inquiry was prompted by the death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski, who was repeatedly stunned by an RCMP Taser at Vancouver’s airport in October 2007.

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