Taser usage must be controlled, “for the public’s sake, and to preserve the humanity of our police,” writes contributor

Tasers have killed 20 people in Canada. This has been the prime reason why the public is so concerned that they be controlled or stopped. But the killings are not the only reason Canadians should be concerned. Tasers don’t stun. They cause excruciating pain. They are torture.

Dear Editor;

Tasers have killed 20 people in Canada. This has been the prime reason why the public is so concerned that they be controlled or stopped. But the killings are not the only reason Canadians should be concerned. Tasers don’t stun. They cause excruciating pain. They are torture.

The ability to cause extreme pain is very tempting to guards and police. Not only do they have a threat to hold over their target, but also they can use the Taser again and again when they are mad or angry or hurt. Most deaths have occurred with repeated jolts. The potential for abuse is enormous. The ability and permission to torture is dehumanizing for our police.

The more temptation, the more use, the more torture, and the more deaths.

Newer Tasers take video when armed. Police should use those. Whenever a Taser is used, it should be treated like a gunshot, with reports and justification. Like guns, Tasers should only be used “in extremis”, to save lives, not for subject control.

Tasers are a lethal temptation to torture. They must be controlled, for the public’s sake, and to preserve the humanity of our police.

Tom Trottier

Ottawa, Ont.