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Marc Andre Fontaine Taser Death: Petition Calling For Tighter Stun Gun Rules Gets Thousands Of Signatures

08/12/2013 06:59 EDT
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A police officer trains using a taser gun at the Metropolitan Police Specialist Training Centre, in Gravesend, Kent, in south-east England, 05 December 2007. Taser guns are to be issued to a select number of police officers as part of a pilot scheme in the UK. AFP PHOTO/CARL DE SOUZA (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

A petition launched after a 27-year-old man was shocked with an RCMP Taser and died is just shy of reaching its goal of 5,000 signatures.

The petition, which calls for stricter guidelines on stun guns, was launched exactly one week ago and has already garnered more than 4,000 signatures.

"In 2007, Canadian police officers faced harsh criticism after tasering a Polish immigrant to death. The investigation that followed this tragedy concluded that Canada must establish province-wide regulations on stun guns," states the petition, called 'Canadian Police: Don't Tase First, Ask Questions Later!'

"But the government has not yet put any standards in place -- an oversight that resulted in yet another Taser-caused fatality last week.

"A report shows that Canadian officers draw their tasers over a thousand times a year, and Amnesty International found that tasers are often used on those who are not a serious threat - often multiple times."

The latest fatality occurred in the city just south of Edmonton when Marc Andre Fontaine, 27, was involved in an altercation with Mounties at a Leduc gas station, according the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, which is investigating the death.

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Officers used a conducted energy weapon, or Taser, to subdue the man before handcuffing him.

The man went into medical distress and lost consciousness, police said. He was taken to to the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton where he was originally reported to be in critical condition, according to an ASIRT spokesperson.

RCMP said the man had been linked to a series of assaults, automobile thefts, driving complaints and hit and runs.

A memorial Facebook page states Fontaine, "leaves behind 3 young children who he loved more than the world itself along with the mother of his children , family and many good friends."

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