NEWS

Alain Magloire coroner inquest delves into stun gun use

01/21/2015 12:04 EST | Updated 03/23/2015 05:59 EDT
The coroner looking into the police shooting death of Alain Magloire last year said Wednesday that there comes a time when recommendations need to turn into actions.

Luc Malouin, the coroner leading the inquest into Magloire’s death, made the statement in relation to the use of stun guns by the Montreal police.

Magloire was shot by police during a confrontation near the Montreal coach bus terminal. The mentally ill homeless man was shot four times after refusing to drop the hammer he was holding.

The coroner’s inquest has already heard that he was shot while officers waited for the arrival of a stun gun.

On Wednesday, Cmdr. Richard Thouin gave a detailed explanation of how the electric stun guns were first brought in to the Montreal police force in 2000.

Thouin is responsible for the Montreal police department's electric stun guns.

He said the city’s police force now has about 75 stun guns in its possession — far fewer than Toronto, with 700, and Calgary, with 468.

Thouin said each region of Montreal has three stun guns.

He said Montreal police deployed a stun gun 60 times last year. In two-thirds of those cases, officers just had to show the device to the suspect to put an end to their operations.

Less talk, more action needed

When coroner Malouin asked whether Montreal police expected to have more stun guns in use in the near future, Thouin said he didn’t know — the matter needed to be studied.

The coroner said it took 15 years to get three stun guns per sector. Would it take another 15 to get three more, he asked.

He pointed out the apparent increase in itinerant people in the downtown core, many of whom have mental health problems.

Malouin said the situation can be analyzed for years, but police on the ground need help now.

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