Police did not have Tasers, official says

A rookie officer who shot and killed a robbery suspect wasn’t carryinga Taser and neither was her partner, said the city’s acting policechief yesterday.

A rookie officer who shot and killed a robbery suspect wasn’t carrying a Taser and neither was her partner, said the city’s acting police chief yesterday.

Acting police Chief Norm Lipinski said there are no policies that force city police officers to carry Tasers and in lethal situations, using the electronic weapons would be risky.

“The Taser is not a panacea,” said Lipinski. “In lethal force situations, the Taser may well be inappropriate and there is a number of reasons for that.”

Shawn Price, 37, was shot twice in front of an apartment building near 107 Avenue and 102 Street Sunday morning during a struggle with a male officer with 10 years of experience and a female officer with one year of experience.

Police allege Price was reaching for an officer’s gun when he was shot by the female cop, while a witness inside the apartment alleges the man’s hands were up before he was shot.

But Lipinski said the Taser is risky in lethal situations because it doesn’t have a high level of “stoppage power that other weapons might have, and Tasers only fire one shot.”

“The darts must hit a target to be effective and that could be problematic because the two darts separate, so at a general statement, the Taser doesn’t always apply in lethal force situations,” Lipinski said.

“Nor do we train to that effect unless there are some very unique circumstances that would allow that to occur.”

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team is handling the investigation into the shooting.

 
 
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