Government to cops: probably best not to Taser pregnant women, genitals
Common sense would suggest that pregnant women, young children and the elderly are not viable Taser targets, but it has taken the sages from the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP two years to come up with the guidelines to protect such individuals from high-voltage zapping by law enforcers. The new regulations, which go into effect this summer, also discourage police from using Tasers and other energy-based weapons on those who are driving or cycling (we assume a baton to the front-wheel spokes would not be a suitable alternative), and those in handcuffs. Officers will be instructed to aim away from sensitive areas, like the head, throat and genitals.
The guidelines emerged following an extensive two-year review of Taser use in Ontario prompted by the 2007 Robert Dziekanski debacle. The final report deemed Tasers “an effective, less lethal weapon” for enforcing the law. No word yet on how police are to deal with the blind, doctors performing surgery, those operating commercial jets or the severely jet-lagged, but the ultimate decision on Taser use will still rest with individual officers.
• New guidelines recommend police avoid Tasering elderly [National Post]
• Ontario tightens Taser rules [Toronto Star]