Police in Barrie, Ontario, "looking into" video of officer beating skateboarder with taser

Originally published at: Police in Barrie, Ontario, "looking into" video of officer beating skateboarder with taser | Boing Boing


So, he beat someone with a taser… in addition to using excessive force, he can’t even use the weapons he has correctly.



The strike looks like an attempt to do something called a “brachial stun”. It’s the vulcan neck pinch for cops, medically possible but unlikely to work on a target that can move even an inch. When you see it work it’s either because the subject is standing there waiting for it like a hypnotized turkey or because the blow is so hard it’s really just a punch in the neck.


Sigh… I grew up here (or more accurately, went to high school here). This doesn’t surprise me much at all. It’s disappointing, but not surprising.


Jesus christ. That’s horrible. ACAB.


Oh Cananda…


Maybe they’ll “see something.”


So does Canada have any sort of Qualified Immunity doctrine like the U.S. does?


I’m not totally sure about qualified immunity, but there’s been a lot of noise from the area the last little while about what seems to be a lack of accountability from city officials. Impaired driving charges being reduced, two instances here and not being super forthcoming around details of councilors who are creating hostile work environments.

It wouldn’t surprise me at all if there were zero consequences as a result of this (although I seriously hope I’m wrong about that).

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“Stop resisting.”

Casual use of obscenities when officially interacting with citizens.

The idiom and grammar of US policing effortlessly crossed the border.

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Cops can be charged with a crime here, but the Ontario Police Services Act basically makes it impossible to fire cops. Usually what happens is the officer is placed on “paid suspension”, which people around here rightfully call “paid vacation”, while being investigated by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which is a “civilian” agency (primarily composed of former cops) that mostly drags their feet on police conduct investigations and clears officers of all wrongdoing. This can go on for months or sometimes years while the officer can refuse to cooperate with the SIU. Actually firing a cop requires the department to hold a hearing, only after the officer has been charged with a crime (also unlikely, crown attorneys suffer the same blindness as US district attorneys), and in almost all cases the department has determined that their fellow officer hasn’t done anything wrong.

It’s a pretty high bar, is what I’m saying. Expect some “retraining” to ensue.


I’m not going to exclude the “is just an incompetent ruled by inadequacy-fueled rage” hypothesis; but it is worth remembering that tasers log a variety of usage events, not including “used as a hard blunt object”.

If one isn’t assured of enough impunity to either make automatically-gathered technical evidence disappear; or make it irrelevant even if available, using the taser as a blunt object avoids one pesky audit trail.

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