By The Canadian PressImage credit
Three weeks ago, in response to an inquiry report into the death of a mentally ill Halifax man, Landry said the guidelines would be released within two weeks.
He now says he has reviewed and signed off on the guidelines and expects they will be made public within the next week or so.
Landry declined to say whether the rules would restrict Taser use against mentally ill people, but added that they would not be a major departure from national standards.
"We’re in line with the overall federal position," said Landry. "I think there are a couple of areas that we’ve probably tightened up ... and I believe it will meet our needs at this time."
The issue is a contentious one because the inquiry into the death of Howard Hyde recommended that Tasers not be used on emotionally disturbed people unless all attempts at de-escalation have failed.
Hyde died in November 2007 at a Halifax jail, 30 hours after police had Tasered him multiple times during a psychotic episode. But the inquiry concluded the Tasering did not cause his death.
Federal guidelines say the use of stun guns should be avoided where possible on women known to be pregnant, the elderly, young children and visibly frail people. The rules also say that the weapons should not be used on a restrained subject or on a person in control of a moving vehicle.
There are no references to mental illness in the national rules, but Landry said it would be addressed in Nova Scotia’s guidelines. He didn’t elaborate.
Friday, June 3, 2011
Taser rules coming
An article published in today's edition of The Chronicle Herald: