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Prince George RCMP Taser an 11 Year Old Boy - Update Post #74 -Report Issued


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Commissioner Braidwood expressed concerns about the use of tasers on vulnerable individuals during his inquiry "into into and report on the use of conducted energy weapons". It seems the message was lost in translation.

West Vancouver Police have been called in to investigate the taser deployment but will not begin the investigation until Monday - that should be enough time for the officers involved to get their stories straight.

The BC Civil Liberties Association is expressing concern over this case and others. The BCCLA have been monitoring ongoing issues regarding use of force, tasers and other issues in Prince George. This was included in a Feb. 9, 2011 report on policing issues in northern BC titled SMALL TOWN JUSTICE - A report on the RCMP in Northern and Rural British Columbia:


The West Vancouver Police Department is investigating the circumstances that led to an 11-year-old boy being stunned with a Taser by a Mountie in Prince George, B.C.

RCMP in Prince George said Friday that the device was used on the boy after a 37-year-old man was allegedly stabbed by the boy on Thursday evening.

Police found the boy inside a group home next door and, when the boy came out, he was shocked with a stun gun.

The RCMP wouldn't release any new information on the boy's case on Saturday, and said the incident is under investigation by the West Vancouver Police Department, whose officers will be flying to Prince George on Monday.

David MacAlister, an associate professor at Simon Fraser University's School of Criminology, studies police policies on the use of Tasers, or conductive energy weapons.

"It doesn't seem right," MacAlister said. "Canadian law doesn't even hold individuals who are under the age of 12 criminally responsible."

MacAlister said that it's difficult to know just yet why police used the Taser but, to his knowledge, the boy is now the youngest person ever to be shocked with a stun gun by RCMP in Canada, which is a medical concern.

"Commissioner [Thomas] Braidwood pointed out in his report that there is concern about police using the Taser on individuals who are particularly thin built," he said.

"The concern there is that there is a thin layer between an individual's skin and their heart, so that would obviously be of concern when we are dealing with a young person."

Police say the boy was taken to hospital for assessment after being shocked, and that the man is recovering from his stab wounds. The boy remains in police custody.

Prince George under scrutiny

On Saturday, David Eby, the executive director of the BC Civil Liberties Association, said his group had concerns about the police action.

"What situaton would justify tasering an 11-year-old? There would have to be pretty remarkable circumstances and there would have to be a serious threat to the life of the officer or the life of the public involved."

Eby said his group would like to know more about this incident and more about other use-of-force incidents in the northern B.C. town. Policing in Prince George has already caught the attention of civil rights advocates, he said.

In February, the association released a report examining the RCMP in northern B.C. that painted a troubling picture of Prince George.

"Prince George has been on our radar for a long time," Eby said.

"This is the city where Clayton Alvin Willey died. He was hog-tied. He was tasered repeatedly. He had fractured ribs and we found through that case there had been a number of other high-profile taserings."

Here were incidents involving the Prince George RCMP that concerned the BCCLA as noted in the report SMALL TOWN JUSTICE - A report on the RCMP in Northern and Rural British Columbia:

Judge David Ramsay sex assaults (2002)

10 officers accused of sexually assaulting girls, investigation fails due to RCMP delays.

A provincial court judge in Prince George was accused and convicted of sexually assaulting underage aboriginal girls in the community. As part of the RCMP investigation, a number of allegations were made against local RCMP officers by the involved girls and their social workers. No RCMP officer was ever arrested or charged or disciplined for conduct arising from this investigation; however, one officer was suspended and then fully reinstated. A code of conduct investigation into allegations against ten different RCMP officers was never concluded due to limitation period issues and delays in the RCMP self-investigation that stretched over more than two years.

The death of Clayton Alvin Willey (2003)

Hog tied man Tasered repeatedly and dropped from SUV, later dies. Investigation finds no misconduct.

The Prince George RCMP investigated and closed their file around the death of Clayton Alvin Willey finding no wrongdoing. When the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs and the BCCLA held a press conference to demand the release of the video in that case, the RCMP reviewed the tape of a hogtied man being Tasered multiple times. He was also allegedly dragged out the back door of an RCMP SUV while hog tied and allowed to drop full force to the pavement. The RCMP re-opened their code of conduct investigation against the involved officers as a result. The second code of conduct investigation report is due out any day now, but has not been released at the time this report has gone to press.

J.A.L. (2006)

Supervisor and officer found by judge to have destroyed video of incident. No discipline.

A man accused of sexual assault said that the RCMP in Prince George Tasered him more than twenty times while he was in jail. Provincial Court Judge Michael Brecknell ultimately made the finding of fact that two officers, including a supervisor, within Prince George RCMP took active steps to destroy or conceal the cell block surveillance footage of the incident. "This was not a 'simple mistake'", wrote the Judge. Neither officer involved in destroying this videotape was reprimanded.

J.A. (2010)

RCMP decline independent investigation of serious allegations. Refuse to confirm or deny that the force provided intentionally inaccurate information to watchdog group to influence media.

The RCMP detachment head, on reviewing videotape of an arrest of an aboriginal woman, J.A., ordered a code of conduct investigation into the behaviour of the involved officers in September, 2010. Following the announcement of the investigation, the involved woman then told the CBC that the officers involved had sexually assaulted her.

The BCCLA and the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council called for an independent investigation of all of the issues given the history of the Prince George detachment in self investigation, public awareness and concern about the Ramsay file, and the public nature of the very serious allegations, for the protection both of the involved officers and the accuser.

The RCMP in Prince George declined to invite another detachment to conduct the investigation and on learning that the BCCLA was going to issue a press release expressing concern about the lack of independence of the investigation, sent an e-mail message to the BCCLA that said that the RCMP detachment head in Prince George, Brenda Butterworth-Carr met with aboriginal leadership concerning the matter on September 26, 2010. Days after the BCCLA adjusted its press release and media interviews to reflect the new information, the BCCLA received information from local aboriginal leadership that indicated that no meeting had taken place.

Since then, the BCCLA has sent four separate emails to their RCMP contact and the head of the detachment in Prince George. Despite multiple replies from the RCMP, the BCCLA cannot get confirmation that the meeting actually ever took place, or whether the RCMP misled the Association with false information.
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Sorry if I missed it in the text, but why exactly is West Van being called in to investigate the case? Is it because they need a third party police force outside of the RCMP to keep it biased or something along those lines?

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This taser incident reminds me of an old Penny arcade comic:

"I punched a baby once, but in my defense the baby was being a "

"Yeah, I dont know what that babies problem was"

I dont know what the 11 year old kids problem was but he had already stabbed a man so he could reasonably be considered armed and dangerous. If an 11 year old came at me with a knife and I had a taser Id Tase his ass in a heartbeat. Beats shooting the kid.

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This taser incident reminds me of an old Penny arcade comic:

"I punched a baby once, but in my defense the baby was being a "

"Yeah, I dont know what that babies problem was"

I dont know what the 11 year old kids problem was but he had already stabbed a man so he could reasonably be considered armed and dangerous. If an 11 year old came at me with a knife and I had a taser Id Tase his ass in a heartbeat. Beats shooting the kid.

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Apparently the BC Child Advocate is also opening a probe.

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, B.C.’s representative for children and youth, is reviewing the use of a Taser on an 11-year-old boy accused of stabbing a man in a Prince George group home last week. Turpel-Lafond said she expects she will launch a formal investigation of the case, noting the youth is an aboriginal living in care and among the “most vulnerable” group in B.C.

“I’m obviously deeply concerned about the circumstances,” she said Sunday.

“Not only is it a child but it’s a child in care ... I’m reviewing it with an eye to a formal investigation. Full public accountability about how this came about is important.”

Prince George Mounties were called to the home at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday after receiving a call about a stabbing. A 37-year-old man was taken to hospital, where he remains in good condition with non-life-threatening injuries. Police then searched for the boy alleged to have stabbed him and found him at a nearby home.

“Efforts were made to get the individual out of the house, and when he emerged from the home a conducted energy weapon was deployed by a member,” Prince George Supt. Brenda Butterworth-Carr said in a statement.

The boy was taken into custody and assessed in hospital.

Police have not said why they used the Taser or what the relationship was between the man and boy. The incident is being investigated by the West Vancouver police department.

Turpel-Lafond said the boy is the youngest child in Canada to have been subjected to a Taser and wants to know why it happened. She’s also questioning what support and standard of care was given to the child in the home and what efforts were made to de-escalate the conflict before the Taser was deployed.

Turpel-Lafond said she’s also worried about where the boy is being kept now, but would not elaborate on his location.

“I’m not very pleased about the situation,” she said. “This is a deeply vulnerable child. We have now used a Taser on an aboriginal child in care, living away from home ... why did it happen and how can we make sure it doesn’t happen again? We’d better take a long, hard look at it.”

West Vancouver police could not be reached Sunday.


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Totally agree, it is like his age is the only thing that matters in this story.

It is not like this kid was tasered for no reason, he stabbed a guy.

It is easy to talk big for those reporters when they are in front of their computers and in the comfort of their house. RCMP officers put their lives on the line every day, I say the had good reason to believe that the boy was a danger to their personal safety which essentially warrants use of a taser.

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I live in Prince George and the RCMP here is often under criticism, and it's good to see it's getting more attention. It's pretty bad throughout northern B.C., as witnessed by an example such as this, in case anyone is interested.

if you're interested in hearing more then find the part 2 and up on youtube.

Prince George has colossal problems with crime. In fact it was recently reported as having the highest crime rates per capita in Canada. There are many social factors responsible for this, but one theory here that I've heard is that many RCMP members are moles for gangs, bred as youngsters to get into the force so they have inside personnel. There are definitely gang problems here and it is pretty frightening walking most places late at night.

In Houston, 3 hours away from PG there was this sad incident:


it's sad, because there are good cops out there doing a good job but so many crooked ones and inexperienced, impulsive ones ruining public opinion. We need police officers so bad that we expedite the process for often underqualified, devious people to get on board and then things like this happen.

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The question is could the officer have subdued the boy without reasonable risk of injury to himself by any other means? Such as by using his baton. Would that be better for the kid than the taser? Maybe, maybe not. Ride the lightning or take a few shots with a baton. Either way the kids going down.

If the officer tried to aprehend him without using the taser and the kid had gotten in a lucky shot with the knife everyone would be asking "Why didnt he just tase the crazy kid? He knew he was armed?" Sometimes the cops cant win.

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