Public concern over Taser use must be addressed or the RCMP risks losing public support, the chair of the RCMP public complaints commission said in Vancouver yesterday.
Paul Kennedy, speaking during the final day of the Braidwood Inquiry into stun gun use by B.C.’s municipal police forces, said the public has “grave concerns.”
“The police can only perform their duties if they have the public’s approval,” Kennedy said. “How can the public not have a right to say how it will be policed?”
Last week, in his final RCMP-Taser report, Kennedy recommended that only experienced officers be issued the weapons and that they should only be used when there is risk of death or grievous harm.
Yesterday, Kennedy said the RCMP has not engaged the public in the Taser issue, nor had they explained their actions.
The inquiry heard from 46 presenters and received 43 written submissions. A report is due Nov. 30.
The second phase will focus on the death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver’s airport. It gets underway Oct. 20.