Sunday, November 18, 2007

RCMP Taser Elderly Stroke Survivor


Did you hear the one about the RCMP shooting the stroke survivor with a taser gun? It's true.

John Peters, 68, suffered a stroke in 1990. He is blind in one eye, hard of hearing, and has neurological problems which affect his speech. But the RCMP added to his problems last Monday by shooting him with a Taser gun in Kelowna, B.C. Like Robert Dziekanski, the Polish immigrant who died at Vancouver airport, Peters was tasered twice.

But unlike Dziekanski, Peters survived to talk about it. In fact, seeing Dziekanski dying on video after being tasered prompted Peters and his wife Ann to speak to CHBC Television in Kelowna (the interview aired on Nov. 16, 2007 on the Vancouver sister station, Global TV) about their experience. The 5'6", 145 lbs. Peters still has nightmares about the tasering and doesn't ever expect to entirely get over it. "This is probably going to haunt me for the rest of my life", he said.

Guess what Peters had done to deserve to get tased twice? He and his wife, Ann Peters, had just finished their paper route -- they deliver a Kelowna newspaper three mornings a week -- and he was picking her up at a coffee shop in downtown Kelowna when he double parked. An RCMP officer was writing him a ticket when Peters objected and drove off. Less than a block away, Peters realized he had made a mistake and stopped his car.

But the Mounties know how to deal with a double parking bandit. An RCMP officer approached Peters in his car and punched him on the side of the head. "I felt a punch...and then the next thing I knew, I was staring at a Taser. And then I got tased."

Ann Peters recalled seeing the officer "with his Taser out" and hearing him say, "I'm going to Taser him."

ZZZZZZZZZZZ

It happened quick, she says, "Just like that, I mean, there was no hesitation." Her husband had not even gotten out of the car yet, she pointed out.

To add insult to injury, literally, the RCMP charged Peters with assaulting a police officer, obstructing justice, and resisting arrest. But Peters says he never hit the officer. The couple doubt they will ever regain their trust in the RCMP

John Peters believes that what these officers need to develop is "people skills". Ann Peters agrees, "Not Taser first, ask questions later."

Think John Peters experience is unusual? Think again. Canadian Press reviewed 563 cases of taser use by the RCMP over a 3 year period and found that in 3 out of 4 cases, the suspects tasered had been unarmed. Canadian Press obtained the data, according to CTV News on Nov. 18, 2007, from reviewing partially censored documents from the RCMP. Their conclusion was that tasers are being used by the RCMP as a weapon of choice and that they are quick to use them on low risk suspects.
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Want to read another police abuse story, one that occurred in conjunction with United Way? Click on this link:

1 comment:

dag said...

I see the new police emblem at the top of this post. Sewn on the shoulder I think it makes the uniform all the more classy.