Kamloops RCMP officers cleared by police watchdog after suspect tased 13 times | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops RCMP officers cleared by police watchdog after suspect tased 13 times


Kamloops RCMP officers deployed energy weapons 13 times on a shoplifting suspect in December, but it wasn't enough to subdue him, according to a report from the Independent Investigations Office of B.C.

The police watchdog has determined the Kamloops officers used necessary force on the suspect and his heavy clothing left the energy weapons almost useless as they couldn't effectively make contact.

At about 8:40 p.m. on Dec. 19, 2020, the suspect was reported to Kamloops RCMP while attempting to shoplift from a liquor store, according to a report from IIO BC.

The report says an employee at the liquor store locked the suspect in until police arrived.

The first officer arrived and followed the suspect fleeing to a back room with a liquor bottle in hand. When police confronted him, he smashed the bottle on the ground and pointed the broken bottle towards them.

Several officers eventually arrived to subdue the suspect with energy weapons, with no success. Threatening gestures with the broken bottle kept officers from physically restraining him.

"(The suspect) repeatedly cut and stabbed himself until finally dropping the bottle neck and falling to the floor," the IIO report said. "Officers then moved in and immediately applied pressure to his wounds to control extensive bleeding."

The investigation ultimately found that RCMP officers could not have safely rushed to overpower the suspect.

And while there were a "significant number" of energy weapon deployments in attempting to bring the suspect into custody, IIO chief civilian director, Ronald J. MacDonald, concluded that officers "did everything they reasonably could" given the circumstances.

The suspect was later taken into custody after being treated for his injuries.

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