Transit taser probe launched

The use of Tasers by Metro Vancouver’s Transit Police Service will be investigated by officers from another force under the direction of B.C.’s Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner.

The move follows last week’s release of incident reports showing officers who patrol SkyTrain and buses sometimes Tasered suspects who were not violent but merely “non-compliant.”

Transit Police chief officer Robert Kind said he asked the commissioner to lead an external investigation due to the “importance of ensuring the utmost public confidence.”

Kind will delegate his authority to the chief of whatever police force is named.

Deputy Police Complaints Commissioner Bruce Brown agreed that a separate force must carry out the investigation.

“It’s important for the overall transparency and independence of the investigation to be done by an outside agency,” Brown said.

That’s because the Transit Police Service had already reviewed the 10 Taser use incidents and decided internally that officers acted appropriately and within the bounds of the service’s use-of-force policy.

“They had obviously made a determination about the issue,” Brown said, adding it would be “difficult” for the force to conduct the investigation.

The commissioner’s office had already asked Transit Police officials for details on the Taserings last week when the B.C. Civil Liberties Association filed a formal complaint, requiring an investigation.

Brown said the probe will look at not just whether individual officers used the Taser appropriately but also the force’s use-of-force policy that sets rules on use of the electroshock weapons.

Kind said Transit Police will fully cooperate with the investigation.

Transit Police are also conducting an internal review of the use-of-force policy.

And the transit force is also to be part of a provincial inquiry into police Taser use.

None of the people Tasered by Transit Police since they received the stun guns last summer have filed formal complaints.

The commission has handled about 20 complaints about Taser use by other B.C. forces since 2004, as well as about 10 complaints where Tasers were only displayed and not actually used.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Decade trend shows crime dropping slowly in Surrey
Empty coal trains to continue travelling on lightly-used SRY line in North Langley until Nov. 30
Bourque to serve at least 75 years in prison
Election 2014: Chilliwack crime rate is trending downward
Dog with four-pound tumour gets life-changing surgery in Chilliwack
Border toll could raise millions for TransLink
Legion’s annual poppy campaign now in full bloom
Richmond records jump in advance voting
Tipped truck at Teapot

Community Events, November 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 30 edition online now. Browse the archives.