In Canada controversy rages over the use of Tasers. The world has seen the Paul Pritchard video of the death by police arrest of Polish speaking Robert Dziekanski who was Tasered and physically subdued .... to death ... by a group of RCMP officers in a Vancouver airport. As was evident in the video Mr. Dziekanski did not speak English. 18 people in Canada have died after being Tasered since 2003. There are other serious issues raised by the video including why the RCMP fired Taser shots at the gentleman when he appeared to pose no threat to them.
The use of Tasers and other force to "subdue" persons with communication difficulties should be of particular concern to parents and caregivers of persons with autism. As reported in Lessons in autism planned for police " Law enforcement officials in California and Ohio who were not trained in dealing with autism used stun guns to subdue two children with autism earlier this year." The article advertises workshops planned in New Jersey by Dennis Debbaudt who has worked extensively with police forces and whose workshops will focus on "ways to successfully resolve a call involving a person with autism, Asperger's syndrome and other developmental disabilities. The primary goal is to make the community a safer place for people with developmental disabilities."