Police Taser use in B.C. down 87 per cent since death at Vancouver airport

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VICTORIA - Taser use by police in British Columbia is down 87 per cent since Robert Dziekanski died at Vancouver's airport in October 2007 after repeated Taser shocks by RCMP officers.

A provincial all-party government committee examining Taser policy since the Polish immigrant's death heard police used their Tasers 640 times in 2007, compared with 85 Taser deployments last year.

Assistant deputy justice minister Clayton Pecknold says it's obvious police are limiting their use of Tasers when it comes to incidents when police resort to force.

Justice Ministry officials told the committee police appear to be relying more heavily on their verbal skills and physical tools other than Tasers when dealing with potentially dangerous situations.

Ministry officials say police shootings haven't increased since the downturn in Taser use.

The committee is meeting to assess the status of recommendations from retired judge Thomas Braidwood's two-pronged public inquiry looking into Dziekanski's death

Organizations: RCMP

Geographic location: Taser, Vancouver, B.C. VICTORIA British Columbia

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