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World Briefing / Canada

Police limit use of stun guns

February 13, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Canada's federal police said they would no longer use stun guns against suspects who are merely resisting arrest or refusing to cooperate, acknowledging that the guns can kill.

At least 20 Canadians have died after being zapped by stun guns. Federal police officers have used the guns more than 5,000 times in the last seven years, and an analysis of incidents by the Canadian Press from 2002 to 2005 found that three in four suspects zapped were unarmed.

Officials said stun gun use must now be justified as needed to protect an officer or the public. Officers had previously been told that stun guns were a good way to control suspects who were in an agitated or delirious state.

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