Complaint filed on transit Taser Use


The Straight

TransLink police chief Robert Kind won’t be looking into his own officers’ conduct after a complaint was filed concerning their use of tasers on the riding public.

“He’s going to delegate this authority and recuse himself from dealing with this to another chief,” deputy police complaint commissioner Bruce Brown told the Straight.

On April 17, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association filed a complaint against the TransLink police for firing tasers at individuals who “posed no significant threat”, and using the weapons in situations where the nature of the threat was “not made clear”.

The BCCLA also initiated a complaint against the transit police’s use-of-force policy. “The fact that a Taser is being used to directly combat fare evasion demonstrates that those who are applying the policy are either misguided or the policy itself is defective,” states association president Robert Holmes’s letter to police complaint commissioner Dirk Ryneveld.

Kind, a former RCMP officer, didn’t return a call by the Straight ’s deadline.

According to Brown, the office of the police complaint commissioner has yet to determine which outside police agency will investigate the BCCLA complaint.

Brown explained that, as with other police forces, a use-of-force report is generated by the transit police each time a weapon like the taser is used. He said that in the cases cited by the BCCLA, the police force has already determined that the use of the stun gun was justified.

“So it would be difficult for him [Kind] then to come to a different decision,” Brown said. “The department has already examined those use-of-force incidents.”

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