Canada | Law

Officer's use of Taser on Native boy deemed 'appropriate'

An officer who used a Taser on an 11-year-old Native boy acted in a "measured, appropriate and professional manner," the chief of police in West Vancouver, British Columbia, said on Monday.

The officer used the Taser to subdue a boy who had stabbed an adult at a residence near Prince George, according to Chief Constable Pete Lepine. Negotiations with the boy, who had access to knives and other weapons, failed so the Taser was brought out, the report said.

"His willingness to engage in violence and use weapons against adults indicated that physical confrontation with the boy would present an extremely high risk to all involved," Lepine said in his report, which revealed for the first time certain details about the April 7 incident.

The report said the boy had been seen drinking wine though it does not say whether tests were performed to determine whether that was the case. The boy apparently threw a wine bottle, along with a wine glass, out of a window.

The report also said the boy, who is hearing impaired, wasn't wearing his hearing aids because they "had been damaged in a previous, unrelated incident." It's not clear how effective negotiations were, given the boy's condition.

Native leaders have condemned the actions of the officer, who won't face charges in connection with the incident. About a dozen First Nations are located near Prince George.

Get the Story:
Officer's use of Taser on boy, 11, 'appropriate' (CBC 10/17)
Police 'convinced' Tasered boy, 11, was dangerous (CP 10/18)