Thursday, September 21, 2006

Tasers and Autistic Persons

The Telegraph Journal today reports that RCMP are reviewing the use of a Taser on a teenager at a party in Hampton. Two RCMP officers were investigating a noise complaint and claimed that one teenager refused to calm down despite several warnings and became "combative" and "resistant". There is no indication of any other factors that might have been involved in the youth's alleged combativeness. Anyone who has raised or cared for an autistic child for any length of time though will likely have seen "combative" or "resistant" behavior. Some autistic persons lack communication skills and understanding which can result in "resistant" or "combative" behavior in situations where they are overstimulated or overwhelmed particularly in a high stress situation involving strangers. Do a google web search using the words "taser" and "autistic" and you will find pages of stories involving the police use of tasers to subdue autistic persons, sometimes resulting in serious injuries and even death to the autistic person. Here are url's for some examples:

I have no idea what the RCMP and other NB police forces' policies are on use of tasers and whether they take into account the possiblity that some intended recipients of taser fire might be autistic or have other mental challenges. But I am going to try and find out. If anyone knows what the policies are at present please feel free to offer your comments and information.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


You can solve the problem with these links spreading into the border by making them smaller at

Just enter your long url and click Make TinyURL, and you have a url that's a fraction of the size.

Good luck!