Letter to Ministers about Taser Guns

Hon Anne McLellan and Hon Irwin Cotler
House of Commons, Ottawa ON, K1A 0A6

Dear Ministers,

I am writing about an issue of serious concern regarding the use of Taser guns. Many police departments use the Taser as a way to cut rates of injury and death during arrests. However, a growing number of deaths have involved Tasers, particularly when the devise is used on drug users or those with heart conditions.

As I am sure you are aware, two deaths this year in my riding have involved Taser guns during interactions with police. Both Robert Bagnell and Roman Andreichikov had Tasers used on them the night of their deaths. There are six corner investigations under way in Canada involving the use of Tasers.

It is imperative that the government position themselves in the debate to ensure public safety as there are currently no federal standards or even monitoring of the use of Tasers. There are growing numbers of people who are skeptical about the devise and their impact on those that are already marginalized in our society as a result of mental illness, drug use, poverty or general dysfunction.

I believe it is imperative that the federal government review the use of Tasers and report with recommendations on their further use.

I look forward to your response on this important matter.

Yours Sincerely,
Libby Davies MP
Vancouver East

Cc: BC Civil Liberties Association

This Open Letter to Ministers & Public Officials was posted on November 1, 2004
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