Royal Canadian Mounted Police
February 1, 2012 by staff
Royal Canadian Mounted Police, The simultaneous use of two tasers by RCMP officers on a Prince George, B.C. man who later died in police custody was “unreasonable, unnecessary and excessive,” says a new report by the force’s watchdog.
The Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP says Constables Glenn Caston and Kevin O’Donnell violated police policy when they both tasered Clay Willey at the same time while the man was already restrained at the force’s Prince George detachment.
The Commission’s report into the July 21, 2003 arrest of Willey, released Tuesday, paints a troubling picture of officers ignoring protocol and policy, investigators failing to follow up, and an institution generally hobbled by bureaucracy.
Willey was arrested after causing a disturbance near a downtown mall. During his arrest, he was pepper-sprayed, punched, kicked and handcuffed, while his feet were bound with hog-tie rope – a practice the Mounties had discontinued a year before.
The Commission chastised one officer for drawing her gun while Willey was removed from the police cruiser at the detachment, and singled out two others for pulling Willey from the cruiser by his feet, causing his body to hit the door car frame before he was dragged face down across the concrete floor to an elevator.
“No attempts were made to facilitate a more controlled transfer, despite there being four members present,” wrote Ian McPhail, interim chair of the Commission. “The members failed to treat Mr. Willey with the level of decency to be expected when he was removed from the police vehicle and transported to the elevator.”
The report also said officers should have called an ambulance for Willey, who was high on cocaine when he was arrested, and instructed EMS personnel to meet them at the detachment. An ambulance was eventually called after Willey was tasered. He suffered a heart attack on the way to the hospital and died the next morning.
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