Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

“It was a very serious and dangerous situation.”
"Jeff Resler,
An Edmonton police constable justifying his use of a taser to wake sleeping suspects, maintaining this was consistent with city police use-of-force policy.


Sorry, Resler, but using a Taser to wake a suspect is about as legitimate as Kevin Federline’s hip-hop career.

Tasers are dangerous and serious weapons intended to shock victims into temporary paralysis. They are a useful alternative to guns and nightsticks, which can cause more permanent harm to victims. However, they remain incredibly dangerous, delivering a 50,000-volt electric shock.

It’s alarming that a police officer would use such a serious weapon to wake a sleeping suspect, and it’s difficult to believe there was no safer way to do so. Resler claimed he attempted to wake the suspects verbally before resorting to his Taser. But it doesn’t seem logical that administering a 50,000-volt shock would be the next appropriate level of force after “Hey you, wake up!”

What’s most disturbing is that Const. Resler was found not guilty of assault for using his taser on a sleeping suspect. In the post-9/11 world where fear runs high and civil liberties often take a blow in the name of law enforcement, this incident is a creepy reminder of what law enforcement can get away with in Canada. So while Resler gets an F- for his weak excuses, the Canadian justice system is the real failure.

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