(AFP) – Nov 24, 2007
VANCOUVER, Canada (AFP) — Another man died in Canada Saturday after police used a Taser stun gun, becoming the fourth person to fall victim to the electrical pistol, the police said.
Robert Knipstrom, 36, died in a British Colombia hospital five days after an altercation with police, in which officers used a Taser gun to subdue him, they said.
The incident occurred last Monday in a shopping mall in the town of Chilliwack.
In October, Robert Dziekanski, 40, died after being shocked repeatedly by policemen with a Taser gun only 60 seconds after they first approached him at the Vancouver airport in western Canada.
A bystander's video released last week showed the four officers then piled on top of the distraught traveler as he lay writhing and screaming in pain on the floor, and falling still within minutes.
Days later, a Montreal man died in hospital after being shocked by police with a stun gun, touted as a safer alternative to firearms. Shortly afterwards another man died in halifax in Nova Scotia after a Taser was used on him.
In the wake of these fatalities, Amnesty International urged authorities to suspend the use of Tasers, saying it had documented 16 prior deaths in Canada that raise "serious questions about the health risks involved in electro-shock weapons."
The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary heeded the call, suspending the use of Tasers in the Atlantic island province.
British Columbia province announced a public inquiry into Dziekanski's death. The coroner, the federal police homicide team, Canada's national police complaint's commissioner also launched independent probes of his death.
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