Toronto police say no conducted energy weapon deaths in 2016

Toronto police say no conducted energy weapon deaths in 2016

A new report on Toronto police use of conducted energy weapons, better known as Tasers, states there were no deaths associated with the weapon in 2016 — a claim being questioned by critics who point to the ongoing probe into the case of a man who died after he was Tasered by police in November.In an annual report released by the Toronto police services board Friday, Toronto police chief Mark Saunders says there were “no deaths directly associated” with Tasers in the past year. The report does not acknowledge an ongoing probe by the provincial police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), into the death of Toronto man Rui Nabico.Nabico, 31, died on November 4, 2016, after a midday interaction with Toronto police near St. Clair Ave. and Old Weston Rd. Though the cause of death has not yet been released, Nabico went into medical distress after Toronto police Tasered him, according to the SIU.In a message Monday, a spokesperson for the family said they have not received any information that would explain how the Toronto police could conclude no death had resulted from Tasers.Meaghan Gray, spokesperson for the Toronto police, said the Taser report can only include confirmed deaths. In Nabico’s case, the SIU has not yet released the coroner’s report stating cause of death.Article Continued Below“If the SIU or the coroner’s report comes back and makes the determination that that death was in fact the direct result of the Taser use, then we will go back and make that correction in a future report,” Gray said.Peter Rosenthal, a Toronto lawyer who has represented multiple families of people killed in police interactions, said the report should have acknowledged the ongoing SIU probe.“It’s of great concern that the alleged Taser death isn’t mentioned there at all,” said Rosenthal, who has been a vocal critic of Taser use by police. “They are acting as if there wasn’t any question about it.”

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