Sammy Yatim's unfortunate death at the hands of police in Toronto is an extreme example of police behaviour that goes unchecked in this country. It is only when police action leads to death as in this case and in the case of Robert Dziekanski who was tasered by RCMP officers in Vancouver a few years ago that there is an outcry. There are others and our politicians stand by and hide.
Our government may say that we're engaging the Saudis to foster reform in the kingdom. Apartheid South Africa's allies made similar arguments, calling for "constructive engagement" with the racist regime. Thankfully, Canada rejected that approach and led the world on sanctions, which hastened the end of apartheid.
Though incidences of Taser-related deaths have fallen out of the spotlight of late, a new study links the devices with death. If death is a possible consequence of Taser use, particularly when it comes to individuals who may have mental health or drug abuse issues, shouldn't that suggest much more cautious use of these devices?