OTTAWA — Canadian police said Monday they have launched an investigation into a federal police officer’s use of a stun gun on an 11-year-old boy during his arrest for an alleged stabbing.
“As a result of a recent incident in Prince George during which a pre-teen was Tasered by an RCMP officer, the chief constable of the West Vancouver police department has been asked by the RCMP to investigate the circumstances of this incident,” West Vancouver police Corporal Fred Harding said in a statement.
Investigators arrived in the remote logging community 800 kilometers (500 miles) north of Vancouver on Sunday to gather information for their investigation, he said.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) in Prince George said they had responded to an emergency call over the stabbing of a 37-year-old man and located his alleged young attacker in a nearby home.
“Efforts were made to get the individual out of the house, and when he emerged from the home a conducted energy weapon was deployed by a member,” said an RCMP statement.
The boy was taken into custody after being transported to a local hospital for assessment, along with the stabbing victim who remains in hospital in good condition. The boy’s condition was not divulged.
Public broadcaster CBC said the aboriginal boy had been in foster care.
The incident comes after the October 2007 death of Polish traveler Robert Dziekanski at the Vancouver airport when being stunned five times with a Taser device and then physically restrained by four officers.
Dziekanski, a new immigrant from Poland, had spent some 10 hours lost at the airport before becoming distraught and throwing furniture.
The confrontation and his death minutes after police arrived at the scene was captured on a bystander’s video, and made international headlines.
A public inquiry later found that police were not justified in using the Taser and that its use as well as the physical struggle “contributed substantially to Mr Dziekanski’s death.”